TONY Mitchell rued the missed chance to play against Denzel Bowles in the tune-up game between Star and TNT KaTropa on Thursday at Ronac Center.
The Hotshots import said he was excited to face Bowles, but not because of the $100 he would’ve gotten from teammate Marc Pingris for every dunk he made against his TNT counterpart.
“That was very generous of him, but I didn’t take that too seriously,” Mitchell said of Pingris’ reward.
Instead, he was looking forward for the chance to catch up with a friend.
“I know Denzel, personally,” Mitchell said of Bowles, who the Texters sent home owing to personal issues. “Denzel is a good guy. He just has little personal problems. That’s all. Just like everybody else, everybody has problems in their life.”
“I wish him the best,” he added. “At the end of the day, he’s a basketball player just like me. He just needs to get his life back on track and continue doing what he loves.
"Basketball’s supposed to take you away from your problems. This is like a sanctuary. Hopefully, he can get himself together and he’ll be alright.”
For now, Mitchell turns his focus to the Hotshots after they lost to an import-less Texters side by three points in their practice facility.
The Hotshots import, though, played down the defeat in an exhibition where they gave up an 84-73 lead after the Texters finished the game with 14 unanswered points.
“Everybody knows it was just a tune-up game, so we’re not necessarily taking it seriously,” Mitchell said. “But we’re just preparing ourselves for the actual thing that’s coming."
“When it counts, I think we’ll be ready,” he assured.