Tony Mitchell eager to make up for lost time as NLEX goes back to first-choice import | Inquirer Sports

Tony Mitchell eager to make up for lost time as NLEX goes back to first-choice import

By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 04:09 PM May 24, 2019

FILE – Former Star import and now NLEX reinforcement Tony Mitchell. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

MANILA, Philippines—NLEX went back to its original import Tony Mitchell and replaced Curtis Washington just in time for its game against NorthPort in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday.

Mitchell was the Road Warriors’ first choice for the conference but didn’t arrive in time, prompting the team to go with Washinton for their opening match against TNT.


“Mitchell was our original choice anyway, Curtis came in as a replacement,” said head coach Yeng Guiao as per NLEX’ Facebook page. “When Tony became available, and he was already in the country, we decided to pursue our original plan.”


“We feel he’s a better fit, he’s played here in the Philippines before. He knows the style and knows the people so the adjustment period is very short,” added Guiao.

Mitchell had just led the Fubon Braves to their first title in the Taiwan Super Basketball League with a four-game sweep of Taiwan Beer in early May and was supposed to arrive in Manila right after the tournament.

The 6-foot-8 forward, however, missed several flights the NLEX management booked for him, leading the Road Warriors to fly in Curtis Washington, who last played in the Bahrain Premier League.

Washington was decent in his first game in the PBA putting up 18 points and 16 rebounds in NLEX’ 102-87 loss to the KaTropa on Wednesday.

Mitchell, though,  still flew into Manila on his own ticket in the hopes of still joining the team.

“I didn’t know if they would give me a shot, but it was a sense of wanting to prove myself and hoping I could make up for lost time,” said Mitchell who played for the Magnolia franchise in the 2017 Commissioner’s Cup.


“That was irresponsible of me, so I just want to make it up to the team and the coaches,” added Mitchell.

Guiao and the rest of his coaching staff have spoken with Washington and dutifully thanked “Big Curt” for his efforts.

“We’d like to thank Curtis for his services. In a short span of time that he’s been with us, we really could not expect more than what we saw in the first game,” said Guiao. “To be fair to him, it was not enough time for him to reach his maximum potential.”

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“We don’t have the luxury of time, so the fact that it’s Curtis’ first time to play in the Philippines is a disadvantage, and it’s an advantage that Tony has,” added Guiao.

TAGS: NLEX Road Warriors, PBA Commissioner's Cup, Sports, Tony Mitchell, Yeng Guiao

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