Reunited after 30 years

The Link is back and has found a new hub here at Daily Tribune.

For the first piece, allow me to write a bit of a throwback and just recently, we brought together former Philippine Basketball Association Best Import Tony Harris from the Swift Mighty Meaty Meaties and his old coach, Yeng Guiao, via the podcast Non-Stop Sports: All Work And Play.

Nearly three decades since they last shared the hard court together, the two were sentimental rekindling fond memories of their first ever championship in 1992.

Harris rewarded Guiao his first PBA title when he blew into town.

The NBA veteran swept several individual records, including the most points in a single game and set the all-time mark of 105 points, eclipsing the previous feat set by Michael Hackett.

The import was so thrilled to share his experiences, especially that 1992 title run when the Mighty Meaties swept the 7-Up Uncolas in the best-of-seven showdown.

For Harris, playing in the Philippines was like a rebirth, not just because of his on-court exploits, but because of a new name being given to him by Filipino fans.

Long-time PBA supporters would call him “The Hurricane” and the explosive import couldn’t be thankful enough for giving him such a great moniker that suits his style of play.

Harris was like a demigod. His first season in the PBA, he averaged 60.7 points per game.

Prior to setting the all-time mark for most points in a game, he also scored 98, 87, 82, 76, 74 and 69. Other numbers like 60, 50 and 40, he will produce on an ordinary day.

Harris was like on top of the world and because of that, he was given a rock star treatment. He was dating movie stars.

Guiao believes Harris made him look good as a coach. The fiery mentor was just in his early 30s when he won his first PBA championship.

A seven-time champion coach, Guiao had his share of handling high-caliber NBA players as imports for various squads.

Lewis Lloyd played for the Houston Rockets and was a star player for that team which figured in the 1986 National Basketball Association championship that lost to the Boston Celtics while Scott Burrell was a part of the Chicago Bulls champion squad.

Tony Lang is another NBA veteran, who also gave him a championship with Red Bull in 2001.

Of course, Guiao takes pride in being the first PBA coach to handle Jordan Clarkson when the NBA star reinforced the Philippine team in the 2018 Asian Games.

Guiao was able to cherish those opportunities of handling these legitimate NBA players.

So how does Guiao rank Harris from among the greatest American players he has ever coached?

Well, Clarkson may be a legitimate NBA star, but he didn’t score 105 points, according to Guiao.

Such a remark was enough to bring a smile on Harris’ face.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *