High hopes on Harris
Alaska head coach Alex Compton remains optimistic that import Mike Harris is still the right man who could help them snap their five-year title drought.
Compton said their hopes are high as Harris displays all the qualities of a good reinforcement as he powered them to a league-leading 7-2 slate in the ongoing Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Governors’ Cup.
“I certainly hope so,” said Compton following the Aces’ 116-109 win over Blackwater Sunday night.
“The guy is leader, a winner. It’s like having a coach the way he works with the guys.”
Bringing Harris to the PBA wasn’t a stroke of luck.
Compton admitted that he waited for eight years before the 35-year old National Basketball Association veteran would agree to suit up for the Aces.
“I think there’s nothing else I can tell you that will indicate how I feel about Mike more than the fact that I tried to get him for eight straight years,” he said.
“I understood that because in the basketball business, Mike is big time. But that didn’t stop me from chasing him for eight years.”
The wait was worth it for the Aces as the former NBA Developmental League Most Valuable Player is proving his world-class talent with impressive numbers in this season-ending conference, averaging 29.5 points, 20.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists in nine games.
Harris though could care less about the stats and individual awards as a championship is what he promised to Compton upon his arrival here.
“I don’t look at stats. I don’t go online and look at stats. I could care less about that,” he said.
“I’m not aiming for Best Import. I told coach Alex when I got here that it was never my focus. For me, at this stage of my career, I play for championships. A championship is far greater than the Best Import award.”
Compton echoed his ward’s mindset, saying all they want is a team award and not mere individual plum at the end of this conference.
“He’s like me. I don’t care about the numbers. If he scores 40 to win the championship, great. If he scores 20 and play awesome defense and get 20 rebounds, great. We just want to win.”
From the looks of it, the Aces are on pace for that end-goal as they are only a win away from clinching one of four twice-to-beat incentives in the playoffs which would give them a higher chance of a deep playoff run.
Alaska still has two games left in the elimination round against NLEX and Northport.
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