THERE was no fumble at the broadcast panel even though Donovan Mitchell hardly knew the players on the floor.
It’s because like in every game he plays, Mitchell had some pre-match preparation for the cameo role with local broadcasters for the Ginebra-Magnolia game on Sunday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The young man coming off an impressive NBA postseason stint gave great game insight, and it was a thrill to hear the Utah Jazz star talk about local stars like he knew them quite a bit.
“Nakakagulat na ayaw niyang sumalang na porket Donovan Mitchell na siya, okay ka na,” said play-by-play man Magoo Marjon, who worked the game with Mitchell along with veteran Quinito Henson.
“Hiningi niya ’yung boxscore, hiningi niya ’yung summary, tinignan niya kung sinong player ang mahusay, pati turnovers pinag-aralan niya, ‘yung points, rebounds, assists, para pagsalang niya, hindi siya ‘yung lalaban nang walang bala.”
“Doon ako natuwa,” Marjon said, noting that Mitchell also watched the warm-ups.
“Kahit nung sa warm-ups, nanonood siya. Sa warm-up, nakikita niya si Paul Lee hitting 35, 40-foot shots. So meron siyang konting idea kung ano ‘yung nangyayari,” said Marjon.
When he joined the broadcast crew, Marjon said Mitchell didn’t project himself as an NBA star.
“When the game went along, actually excited siya. Nakakatuwa na ibang level kasi nila pero siya, parang totoong tao siya. Bata ako, I just love basketball. ‘Yun ang dating niya sa akin. Gusto ko umupo dito, eto ang testing ko.
“He was very impressive. He did a little bit of homework and ‘yung insights niya, iba pagdating sa game of basketball. May nakikita rin siya pare-pareho na iba sa ating nakikita. Very impressive,” said Marjon.
Marjon said Mitchell’s preparation before going on the mic is also a reflection of the work ethic of the top Rookie of the Year candidate.
“Kasi may work ethic din naman sa atin eh. Gusto niya handa rin siya. Hindi siya magmumukhang walang alam kahit ngayon lang niya nakita ‘yung mga players,” he said.
Marjon said he will not be surprised if Mitchell takes on a career in broadcasting, but believes it won’t happen soon.
“Actually, solid siya. Pagdating pa lang, nakakagulat kasi NBA superstar na siya pero binabanggit na niya na he always wanted to commentate on a game. Twenty-one years old pa lang siya, pagdating ng 40 may commentator na na bago. Mahaba pa naman career niya,” said Marjon.