Sean Anthony's journey in the PBA has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least.
Sean Anthony is a Filipino-Canadian professional basketball player who has played college basketball for the McGill Redbirds in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Honestly, I don't remember him playing in the PBL because he came at a time when the league is on its last legs.
Anyway, Sean Anthony was drafted sixth overall by the Air21 Express in the 2010 PBA Draft. However, he was traded to the Powerade Tigers on draft night (alongside Renren Ritualo and the draft rights to Jai Reyes), and little did he know, this would mark the beginning of his journeyman career.
Sean Anthony is not a bad player by any means. In fact, he has career averages of around 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1 steal in more than 300 games of action. In 2019, Anthony was named to the PBA Mythical First Team and won the PBA Defensive Player of the Year award. He was also named to the PBA Mythical Second Team in 2016. These awards testify to his talent and defensive prowess on the court.
And yet, Sean Anthony's career has been plagued by constant team switches. He has switched franchises 11 times, which has prevented him from elevating his superstar status in the league. Sean Anthony's inability to stay with one team for a long period has resulted in him missing out on opportunities to participate in All-Star games and even win PBA championships.
In 2010, Air21 had four first-round picks. Anthony was the last player picked by the Express in the first round. With that said, Anthony’s career numbers are incomparable even if you combine the averages of Nonoy Baclao, Rabeh Al-Hussaini, and Rey Guevarra, their numbers fail in comparison to that of Anthony’s. For some reason, Anthony was the player the Express traded to the Powerade Tigers for a couple of picks – they would never really use (as one of them was traded to Ginebra for Willie Miller, and that pick turned into Chris Ellis).
In 2011, the Powerade Tigers surprised everyone when they reached the Philippine Cup Finals. Gary David spearheaded the team alongside Smart-Gilas stars JV Casio and Marcio Lassiter, Doug Kramer, and Anthony. However, the franchise was about to be sold to GlobalPort. Anthony never saw action for GlobalPort that season as he was sent to Barako Bull, formerly Air21, for Aldrech Ramos.
I think Anthony is a victim of his skills. He is basically the Jimmy Jackson of the PBA. Jackson, Jamal Mashburn, and Jason Kidd created this "young baller" dynamic in Dallas in the mid-90s. However, much like most young NBA duos and trios ever since the "multi-million contracts era", off-court drama happened. Jackson went from team to team and... maybe I should create a Jimmy Jackson version?
At first glance, Sean Anthony is the 2010s version of peak Tony Dela Cruz and Nic Belasco. He is a two-way force with range. He can play multiple positions and while he can't dunk a la KG Canaleta, he can score when his teams need a couple of clutch bombs.
He is also a pretty good bargaining chip. Over the years, Anthony was been part of draft packages that had the likes of Jared Dillinger, Larry Fonacier, Vic Manuel, and JR Quinahan.
However, unlike most SMC trades, Anthony was always stuck in the conduit teams. If you forget that Powerade and GlobalPort were once part of the Sunkist/Coca-Cola genealogy and Meralco was part of the Sta. Lucia genealogy, Anthony has only played for one team that had previous championship glory... and he played for the TNT Tropang Texters for just six months. Yes, Anthony has played for the MVP squads but Meralco and NLEX were never championship contenders the way San Miguel, Ginebra, and Magnolia were. I have always compared Anthony to TDLC but the latter played for two teams in his entire PBA career. Anthony could have thrived in “neutral teams” like Alaska and Rain or Shine but for some reason, he never got to play in those squads.
In some ways, his inability to play for the best teams messed up his fanbase. It's easy to root for James Yap even if he's playing for the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters but it's hard to root for Anthony if he's just lingering around the bad teams. In the 2023 PBA All-Star game, 10 players were invited from TNT, Meralco, NLEX, and Northport. These are the teams Anthony has played in. Phoenix, the last team he played for before his move to NLEX, failed to send a participant even if they finished the season with Jason Perkins, Javee Mocon, Tyler Tio, and Encho Serrano averaging in double digits.
Ginebra had eight players in the all-star game.
HOW HIS FINAL SEASON NEEDS TO BE
In the aforementioned trade for Aldrech Ramos, GlobalPort first traded Anthony to B-MEG for the draft rights of Vic Manuel and Val Acuna. Then the Llamados traded Anthony and their second-round pick which turned into Dave Marcelo for Ramos. Anthony averaged almost ten points and five rebounds while Ramos barely saw action for Tim Cone and ended up going to Alaska when the 2012-13 season is over.
Anthony has been a valuable trade chip from the moment he arrived in the PBA and I guess the best way to finish his story is by signing for an SMC team and helping them win a title. I have been critical of players sacrificing their career averages for a benchwarming role in a championship team but if he can’t be part of an all-star team, at least have Anthony play for a championship team. At 37, he needs to think about his Wikipedia page, the top ten lists, and possible career retrospective segments. Jun Limpot is proof that a player can still win a championship despite his career nearing retirement.
For years, he has been playing where the trade proposals lead him, and at least for the final time, maybe it’s time Anthony goes to the team of his choice.