Horses are the most “abused” animal in history. They have been used for different purposes in various fields, from usual labor to entertainment to wars. They often deliver the needed service with ferocity.
Northport used to have one player who possesses this type of character, Sean Anthony. Anthony possesses the ability to play superb, stingy defense and is not a slouch on offense, either.
Thing is, Anthony is one of those who play hard and with lots of energy at both ends of the floor. He doves for loose balls, always go after every possible rebound and often drives hard to the basket.
Opponents will always see his shadow anywhere in the floor on defense and got to always keep an eye on him on the offensive side. He is often described as “parang kitikiti kung maglaro”.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t do will the Batang Pier in during his stay with the franchise. There are always hindrances to the march of Northport to the championship round.
Lo and behold, Northport suddenly gives him the perfect partners by trading for Christian Standhardinger and Kevin Ferrer, acquiring the services of Michael Qualls for this year’s PBA Governors’ Cup, and adding Paolo Taha to the mix to form the “Kitikiti” squad.
Him, Standhardinger, and Qualls are a perfect blend for the hustle plays when combined together.
Initial returns have them struggling as Head Coach Pido Jarencio jockeys his line-up to find the proper chemistry and mixture.
They found it just in the nick of time.
Given up for dead after recording just three wins in their first nine games in the season-ending conference, they suddenly got it going with four straight wins lately anchored on the play of these energetic players who seemingly are not affected by fatigue.
The Batang Pier first downed eventual top seed NLEX Road Warriors to keep their playoffs hopes alive and squeaked past eventual fourth seed Barangay Ginebra to secure a spot in the quarterfinals.
Qualls and Standhardinger played over 43 minutes each against NLEX and lead the scoring parade as expected, Anthony played 34-plus minutes.
Their length of stint on the floor was almost a mirror against the Barangay with Qualls and Standhardinger playing over 44 minutes each while Anthony’s exposure was at 36 minutes.
Incidentally, Anthony led both the +/- stat in both games by a wide margin. He was a +21 against NLEX with Standhardinger at second with +16. He was a +10 against Ginebra with Ferrer a distant second at +2.
Clearly, the Batang Pier are piling up more points in those crucial games when Anthony is on the floor.
They kept the momentum by derailing NLEX twice more to advance to the semis against Ginebra.
Qualls and Standhardinger again played the most minutes in the series. They led the charge with in the first game with 39 and 24 points, as well as a +24 and +25, respectively.
Anthony got the closer’s job done in the closeout game with 30 markers that include the winning basket on a hard drive to the basket.
If just to highlight their quality for working hard, various media reports confirmed that Standhardinger attended a Gilas Pilipinas practice a day after playing for 61 minutes in the closeout game that was completed after triple overtimes.
It would not be surprising if Gilas Pilipinas Head Coach Tim Cone would feel mixed emotions upon seeing Standhardinger the first to come in for the 10 AM practice.
“He is amazing,” Cone was quoted to have said. ” He was working way before we even got here.”
Cone described the scene as like “Are you kidding me!”
He should be feeling happy as Gilas coach but scared as the Ginebra bench tactician
By: Armando M. Bolislis