Thursday, 28 April 2011

Miller wants more playing time

Posted by chardyboy on Thursday, April 28, 2011 0 comments


 MANILA, Philippines — A year after he was traded to Barangay Ginebra, Willie Miller finally gets a chance to win a championship with the Kings.

While there’s no question on Miller’s talent and capabilities to help the Kings win the PBA Commissioner’s Cup title, he’s hoping to get more playing time to prove that he can contribute in the Finals against Talk ’N Text.

“May game plan naman ang mga coaches. Pero sana lang mas magkaron ako ng playing time for me to contribute,” Miller, 33, said on the eve of Game 1 of the best-of-seven series set to start Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum.

“Pero ang importante naman basta mag-champion ang team. Masaya na ako kung mag-champion kami kasi first time ko for Ginebra kung sakali,” added Miller, who won the MVP plum in 2006-07 and 2002.

Prior to Miller’s transfer to Ginebra, he averaged 14.6 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4 assists and 31.8 minutes per game since he started his PBA career in 2001 with stints with Red Bull, Talk ’N Text and Alaska.

The 5-foot-10 Miller joined the Kings in the middle of the 2010 Fiesta Cup after completing a trade with the Aces for high-flying Cyrus Baguio, who helped Alaska win that conference against San Miguel Beer.

However, Miller’s numbers with the Kings dropped, particularly this conference with 11.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, 2.1 assists because of his limited playing minutes of 22.9 per game. Despite this, however, he still ranks third in team scoring behind import Nate Brumfield (27 points) and Mark Caguioa (15.9 points).

In the quarterfinals against the Smart-Gilas Pilipinas, he averaged only 20.3 minutes per game, but still managed 8.3 points, 3.8 boards and 1 assist in four games average.

In the pivotal Game 4, Miller saw little action in the second period but it was him who sparked a telling breakaway in the fourth that finally took the fight out the Nationals.

He scored 10 of his 11 points in that crucial run as his team won, 92-85.

A starting guard with Alaska and with TNT, Miller does not have that Miller wants more playing time role with Ginebra which has a loaded backcourt rotation that includes Mark Caguioa, Mike Cortez and Ronald Tubid.

The arrival of rookies John Wilson, Jimbo Aquino and Rob Labagala further affed his roles. In 16 games, he started just twice, none of them in the semis opposite the national team.

It remains to be seen if things will change in the Finals series against TNT, as Miller and his fellow Ginebra guards will be matched up with veteran playmaker Jimmy Alapag, Jason Castro, Ryan Reyes and Larry Fonacier.

The last time Miller played in the Finals was in 2007 Fiesta Cup against Talk ’N Text when he powered Alaska to the title by winning Games 6 and 7 after being down 2-3. He was named the Finals best player.


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