HIGH-scoring import Tony Mitchell and newly-acquired forward Sean Anthony teamed up to power undermanned Talk ‘N Text past Barako Bull in overtime, 118-113 ,to jump-start its PBA Governors Cup title bid on Friday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The cat-quick Mitchell exploded for a conference-high 48 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as he overcame leg cramps early in the third period while Anthony torched his former team for 23 points, eight rebounds, and five steals.
More importantly, the hard-working Anthony played tough defense on Barako Bull’s athletic import Mike Singletary, who, bothered by cramps and barely unable to get some lift off both legs, was held scoreless in overtime after scoring 41 in regulation period.
“We’re missing a lot of key players. And I didn’t really know what to expect in this game, but it turned out into a shootout,” Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black said.
“I’d like to give credit to my remaining players who are not part of the national team. We definitely have a good import in Tony Mitchell but we need to get more local support. Though Sean Anthony also played well, while Jai Reyes also stepped up for us,” he added.
Ryan Reyes banged in 19, including four points in overtime, while Reyes, playing in his second tour of duty in the league, added 11, including two pressure-packed free throws with 10.3 seconds to go to seal Talk ‘N Text’s victory.
The 5-foot-8 Reyes, selected 10th overall by Powerade during the 2010 Draft, played for the Saigon Heat in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) this year before hooking up with the Tropang Texters as a free agent.
Black is aware the Tropang Texters will be the decided underdogs for the first few games of the short conference as they will be playing without stars Jimmy Alapag, Jason Castro, Ranidel de Ocampo, and Larry Fonacier.
The four TNT veterans were given a one-month break after playing big roles in Gilas Pilipinas’ runner-up finish in the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship. The achievement earned the country a berth in the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain after a 35-year absence.
Talk N' Text (118) - Mitchell 48, Anthony 23, Reyes R. 19, Reyes J. 11, Al-Hussaini 8, Aban 7, Peek 2, Raymundo 0, Aquino 0, Alvarez 0, Ferriols 0.
Barako Bull (113) - Singletary 41, Macapagal 24, Pennisi 13, Intal 12, Monfort 9, Marcelo 4, Seigle 4, Jensen 3, Buenafe 3, Bulawan 0, Weinstein 0, Cruz 0.
Quarterscores: 26-31; 53-62; 81-80; 101-101 (reg), 118-113.