A feasibility study of replacing a conventional phototube with an array of SiPMs is presented. High gain, low voltage operation and insensitivity to the magnetic field make SiPMs practically useful for the light collection in a physics experiment. In addition, sensors can be assembled in a compact system which is easily scalable. In this study an array of 6 mm x 6 mm area SiPMs was coupled to the end of a plastic scintillator counter with dimensions 150 cm x 6 cm x 1 cm. The principal restriction for applications requiring an accurate evaluation of the photons arrival time is a large SiPM capacitance which results in broadening of the signal rise time. A natural solution of the problem is to read out and amplify the sensors independently, thus essentially isolating the sensor capacitances from each other. For this purpose an 8 channel SiPM anode readout ASIC (MUSIC R1) has been used. Prospects for applications in large-scale particle physics detectors of the SHIP and T2K/ND280 experiments with timing resolution below 100 ps are provided in light of the results.