MANILA, Philippines -- In Sean Anthony, NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio has a player who perfectly fits his system and his philosophies.
The coach said as much on Sunday, after Anthony put up 22 points, 9 rebounds, 7 steals, and 5 assists in NorthPort's 95-90 triumph over the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup.
Anthony had 15 points in the first half alone, setting the tone for NorthPort before helping them hold off the Road Warriors in the end game. It was Anthony's seventh steal of the game -- off Poy Erram with 69 seconds left -- that ruined NLEX's hopes of a comeback.
"That's his natural game. Alam naman natin si Sean, talagang laban kung laban 'yan eh. 'Yan ang player na may pride, may puso, palaban. Talagang 'yan ang attitude," Jarencio said of the veteran forward, making a reference to his famous mantra.
The coach pointed out that Anthony did all these while playing off the bench.
"Nakikita mo 'yung hustle, hindi tumitigil," he said. "Nagugulat nga ako, parang 'di napapagod eh."
Anthony, for his part, deflected the credit for his tremendous performance and instead stressed that their victory was the result of a team effort.
"That has been the big difference for us so far -- having a lot of guys step up," he said, pointing out that three other players reached double-digits again for their team. "It's not just really reliant on a couple of players."
"(I'm) just being lucky, being in the right place at the right time," Anthony also said of his performance. "I do my homework, I know the plays they run and so I guess, being in the right place and knowing what's gonna happen helps as well."
Moreover, Anthony believes that it's not just him who embodies the characteristics that Jarencio so treasures in a player.
"I think what we lack in size, we make up for in speed, heart, hustle," he said. "That kind of stuff -- the intangibles."
"As you saw, Mo (Tautuaa) stepped up, and Brad (Guinto) had a great game the last time. I think our bigs are doing all right, and we matched up with some real tough bigs in (JR) Quinahan and (Poy) Erram, and we held our own tonight."
NorthPort improved to 2-0 with their win over NLEX, joining Phoenix at the top of the league standings. It is their best start to a season in two years.
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