Purefoods recruit Mick Pennisi ready for 'baptism of fire' in game against former team Barako
Purefoods new boy Mick Pennisi has vowed to help uphold the Hotshots' winning tradition. Jerome Ascano

MICK Pennisi only had two days of practice with his new team behind him, but the veteran big man vowed do whatever it takes to help Purefoods Star extend its championship reign in the PBA.

The 6-foot-9 Pennisi, who played the last three-and-a-half seasons with Barako Bull, said he was surprised to end up at Purefoods Star after being swapped for seldom-used big man Isaac Holstein and Ronnie Matias.

“It (trade) was a surprise, but I’m ready to take the challenge because I know we’re in a do-or-die situation here,” the 39-year-old Pennisi told Spin.ph after spending his second day of practice with Purefoods on Monday.

With little time to adjust to Purefoods Star coach Tim Cone’s triangle offense, the left-handed Pennisi said the Hotshots’ final elimination-round game against, incidentally, his former team, will serve as his “baptism of fire."

“The game is more like a baptism of fire, but I’m ready for it because coach Tim knows I can play to my strengths and I bring a different aspect in the five position,” he said.

[See Sharp-shooter Pennisi brings new dimension to Purefoods offense, says Cone]

Pennisi averaged 7.5 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.1 assists for Barako Bull this season, while shooting 27.3 percent from the three-point arc.

After spending seven conferences with a lowly Barako Bull side, Pennisi, who has won five championships in his long career, said he will do everything to help uphold the Hotshots rich winning tradition.

“I don’t want to take it (opportunity to play for Purefoods) lightly. This team has great tradition. But I’m a veteran and coach has been good and great to me,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava