Williams named Portuguese Finals MVP after Herculean effort
Anchorage’s Travante Williams has done just about everything in the Portuguese League.
Titles, MVP, Defensive Player of the Year. Been there, done that.
But his performance in the final two games of the best-of-5 Finals series might be his greatest accomplishment.
Benched for Game 3, Williams returned to the starting lineup for Games 4 and 5 and led Sporting Club of Portugal to the Portuguese League championship.
The Alaskan was awesome in the decisive Game 5 with 21 points, eight assists, four steals and three rebounds to highlight an 86-85 win over FC Porto.
Former Gonzaga standout Micah Downs’s free throw with 1 second left in regulation iced the win, but it was Williams who made the biggest difference.
He turned in his best effort of the series; maybe of his career, given the stakes.
Williams played a significant role for Sporting in its three Finals wins:
In Game 1, he dished off a career-high 10 assists in a two-point win.
In Game 4, he pumped in 19 points and made 10-of-13 free throws in a four-point win.
And in Game 5, ‘Takeover Travante’ poured in a team-high 19 points in a one-point win.
By comparison, FC Porto won Game 2 by 12 points and Game 3 by 14 points.
This is why Williams was named Finals MVP – he was the difference in the series.
The 6-foot-4 small forward has played big the entire time of his four-year career in the Portuguese League.
He won his first two championships with Oliveirense in 2018 and 2019 before moving to Sporting. Then the 2020 season was cut short because of COVID.
Sporting had not played in the Portuguese League for two decades before coming back in the fall of 2020. One of the team’s first moves was signing Williams, who has emerged as the most consequential player in the country.
His teams have compiled a staggering 126-15 record in his tenure in Portugal.