NEARING the twilight of his career, Sean Anthony is determined to win a championship before he hangs his jersey.
And he believes it can be accomplished.
After a frustrating campaign in the Philippine Cup bubble, the NorthPort Batang Pier are looking to rebuild this season that all but raised the expectation of the 6-foot-4 hardworking forward.
Anthony came close to winning a PBA title in 2012 with Powerade Tigers and in 2014 with the now defunct Air 21.
As an eighth seeded squad, the Tigers defeated the top seeded B-Meg Llamados twice in a row in the quarterfinals, then put away another favored squad, Rain or Shine, in a grueling seven-game series in the semifinal round.
But in the championship round, the Tigers were outplayed by the more seasoned TNT Tropang Texters in five games.
"With Powerade, we got too excited once we got to the finals," Anthony confessed.
"We had a chance, but when Game 1 slipped out and then we lost in overtime in Game 2, TNT was ready to go."
Anthony had another opportunity two years later as member of the Air21 Express. But an unfortunate incident happened in Game 4 of their best-of-five semifinals series against the grand slam-seeking San Mig Coffee Mixers.
"That was another hard one for me," Anthony said.
"We just beat San Miguel, which has a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals and then we went up 2-1 against San Mig Coffee, which was going for a grand slam. But that was when I injured my Achilles. I sat out the next two games and we ended up losing to them."
It was the same story for the NorthPort bruiser in the Philippine Cup bubble.
"I was playing alright in the bubble, averaging almost triple-double. It's just unfortunate we couldn't close out, then I got injured," explained Anthony, who averaged14.50 points, 9.75 rebounds, and 5.75 assists per game in the bubble.
"In a normal season, that's just two or three games, but because of the super compressed schedule, I missed out most of the games in the elimination."
The Batang Pier own the second pick in the first round of the upcoming PBA Draft as well as the No. 11 selection. If NorthPort makes the right choices their drafts could turn out to be good investments as they move along.
"Winning a championship is the best way to cap my stellar career. I think I have a few good years with me, that's for sure. But I don't think I'll pull a Tom Brady, who played until 43."
Still, Anthony believes that with a team built around him, center Christian Standhardinger, Gavo Lanete, Kevin Ferrer and the two first round picks this year, the future looks bright for the Batang Pier. (RJ)