MANILA – Sean Anthony has proven that he is well-suited for Air21 after his career-best performance helped lift the Air21 Express to a 103-100 victory over the San Mig Super Coffee Mixers in Game 1 of their PBA Commissioners Cup semi-finals series.
The 6-foot-4 forward was recently named Player of the Week – along with teammate Asi Taulava – for his role in Air21’s historic quarter-finals upset of the San Miguel Beermen.
“I guess we found somebody who is suited to what we’re trying to do for the team,” Air21 coach Franz Pumaren told PBA.ph. “He gives us a lot of intangibles."
In Game 1 of the best-of-five series, Anthony tied his career high with 29 points, to go along with three rebounds and three steals after coming off the bench. He averaged 21.5 points and 9.5 rebounds against San Miguel Beer in the quarter-finals.
Anthony, who missed the first six games of the conference due to an injury, said he's only doing what the coach instructed him to do, and deflected the credit to his teammates.
“I just get what the defense gives us,” said Anthony, who made five of his six triples in Game 1. “I’m not trying to go out and score.”
“(Import Wesley) Witherspoon is driving and they were doubling, and it just turned out to be open shots from the three-point line, and it just went it,” he added. “Those shots were for my teammates. They set me up for open shots.”
He also takes no umbrage in his role as a reserve. “The starting five is starting strong, so when I come off the bench, I just try to bring the energy a little bit and whatever’s working, whatever the coach wants, I just buy into the system. And it’s working,” said Anthony.
Anthony also says that a 1-0 lead against a championship team like San Mig Coffee is far from a safe thing, and adds the team is focused on claiming what would be a historic finals berth for the franchise.
“We’re coming in with a mentality that we can never lose any of these three games, and that’s how we’re going to play,” he said. “(We will) play with heart and aggressiveness every game.”