Penny gives struggling Coca-Cola Tigers a boost

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Penny gives struggling Coca-Cola Tigers a boost

MANILA, Philippines – Coca-Cola got a big boost in its Motolite-PBA Fiesta Cup campaign as original choice James Penny arrives Tuesday and sees action for the Tigers on Thursday against Purefoods.

The defense-oriented import, who led Barako Bull to a title in the 2005-06 Fiesta Conference when the team was then known as Red Bull, replaces J.J. Sullinger. Penny is fresh from a stint in Mexico where he played for the Soles de Maxicali.

Penny’s return stint comes a time when Coca-Cola is reeling from three-straight setbacks. Yet, Tigers coach Keneth Duremdes thinks that everything will eventually fall into place once Penny blends with the team’s system.

“I believe na malaki ang mako-contribute ni Penny," said Duremdes. “We know him as a scorer, an excellent defender and rebounder. Ang kailangan lang siguro is yung conditioning niya and yung matutunan agad niya yung plays ng team."

Penny’s first stint in the PBA was an instant success. He led Red Bull to a championship despite coming in only as a replacement import to Quemont Greer. He lost the Best Import award to Marquin Chandler of Purefoods.

The following season, he once again suited up for Red Bull, but failed to lead the ball club to another championship. Red Bull settled for second runner-up honors in that tournament behind champion Alaska and runner-up Talk ‘N Text.

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