Photo from PBA

Mike Harris admitted he had something to prove during his 38-point performance against former team Alaska during Magnolia Pambansang Manok’s 118-91 victory in their PBA Governors’ Cup match held Sunday, March 6 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 38-year-old came out firing right from the start, hitting medium-range shots and while knocking a few three-point attempts that enabled the Hotshots to take a big lead at the start which they sustained with almost no trouble until the end.

It was Harris’ first game against the Aces, the team he led to the finals of the Governors’ Cup back in 2018 when the squad was under coach Alex Compton. Ironically, Harris faced his future team, which ended up winning the series in six games.

But much to the surprise of many, Alaska opted not to once again tap his services as current coach Jeffrey Cariaso went with Justin Watts and Franko House in the 2019 Governors’ Cup and this season with Olu Ashaolu in the same conference.

As much as Harris tried to downplay the subplot of taking on the Aces for the first time in a postgame interview on television, he also didn’t hide some of his sentiments.

“I try not to think about this game but I was on a mission to try to show… you know, a couple of times has been said that I was too old and stuff so I did have some fire in me but I didn’t want to talk about it,” Harris said.

“So I wanted to let my actions speak for my words, and I think our team came out defensively and we were just really good from the beginning. They made a run there in the second quarter, and we ended up containing it a little bit. And then in the third quarter, we picked up right where we left off in the first quarter.”

Not only did Harris make 15 of 20 shots, including five triples, he was also effective on the other end with 10 rebounds, two steals and one block in almost 29 minutes as the Hotshots improved to 9-1.

Though assured of the top seed and the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, Harris and Magnolia are eager to finish the elims on a high note Wednesday against winless Blackwater.

“With already being in the twice-to-beat, and being at the top, we could’ve easily just came out relaxed, lackadaisical, and gave Alaska an easy win,” he said. “The guys came out with a sense of urgency. I’m really, really excited for the guys that were on the bench, the way they came out and performed.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (