LIKE a boxer preparing for a big fight, Barangay Ginebra rookie wingman Chris Ellis has been religiously viewing game tapes of new Talk 'N Text import Tony Mitchell.
“I have to do it, so I know what to do on defense,” said Ellis, the man who will most likely be deployed by Ginebra coach Alfrancis Chua to try and stop the Texters' new import.
Ellis knows he should be ready.
Mitchell has cut a reputation as a high-scorer in the NBA D-League, having averaged 30 points per game during playoffs and 21.9 points during the eliminations with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
“I heard he’s a scoring machine. But he puts up a lot of shots. So I’m excited to guard him,” said Ellis.
The 6-5 Mitchell is also the D-League's Rookie of the Year and slam-dunk champion, and Ellis - the PBA's own slam-dunk champion - is excited to measure himself against the prolific import.
“This is a good test to see where I stand with what I want to do eventually, where I stand amongst the potential NBA players,” Ellis said. “He has pretty good credentials coming in."
Ellis also said he has been getting a lot of help from the team’s ‘defensive consultant’ - Rudy Hatfield.
“Rudy has been a big help to me. He’s trying to walk me through some things. He gives me tips on almost everything and what Mitchell might do,” shared Ellis.
So determined is Ellis to become familiar with the court tendencies of Mitchell that he once again went through the videos before sleeping on Tuesday night.
“It’s really like studying for an exam … trying to understand what he will do in the game,” he said.