by Waylon Galvez
Missing out on the PBA Philippine Cup playoffs apparently isn’t the end of the road for NLEX and coach Yeng Guiao.The Road Warriors hit the ground running after their exit, tabbing the services of former Star Hotshots import Tony Mitchell for the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao bared yesterday that the 6-foot-9 Mitchell will be suiting up for the Road Warriors, two seasons after he played for Star, now the Magnolia Hotshots, during the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.
“We like what he brings to the table. From the management standpoint, and particularly the coaching staff, we’re confident that he’ll be able to help us,” said Guiao.
“He works hard every practice and every game, and knowing coach Yeng, that’s what he wants from a player. We’re just excited to have him soon after he finishes his stint in Taiwan,” he added.
Mitchell is currently playing for the Fubon Braves in Taiwan’s Super Basketball League (SBL), and with averages of nearly 18 points and 11 rebounds per game, Mitchell has helped the Braves reach the semifinal round of the tournament.
Guiao said the 27-year-old Mitchell, picked by the Detroit Pistons during the 2013 NBA Draft, would only be available for NLEX after his stint in the SBL.
Mitchell played eight games for the Hotshots, compiling a 6-2 record, before he was replaced by Ricardo Rattliffe, who helped Star reach the semifinal round.
In eight gams he played, Mitchell averaged 27.5 points and 18.1 rebounds for the Hotshots.
Known for his rebounding prowess and defense inside the painted area, Guiao believes that Mitchell will be a big help for the frontline rotation of NLEX, which has JP Erram, JR Quinahan and Asi Taulava.