MIKE Harris and Alaska endured a battle royale in a Game Three victory over Meralco on Thursday night - and he expects nothing less from the Bolts in Game Four.
Harris was the hero of Game Three, where he hit a three-point play on an offensive rebound off his own miss with 16.1 seconds left to lead the Aces to a 104-102 victory and a 2-1 lead in their PBA Governors Cup semifinal series.
While Harris was happy that his teammates were able to hold on, the former NBA D-League MVP had nothing but respect for Meralco import Allen Durham and veteran Reynel Hugnatan for giving the Aces all they could handle.
Durham had 37 points and 13 rebounds while Hugnatan had 19 points. The two kept the game close 'till the end, answering each clutch Alaska basket with their own.
“The game was amazing. Playoff basketball. We didn’t expect anything less. They played amazing,” Harris told reporters after the match. “Before I can talk about our team, Durham, he does what he does non-stop. Everything."
He reserved his biggest praise for 40-year old Hugnatan.
"But the left-handed guy, I don’t know his name, the older guy (Hugnatan), amazing. I love that guy. He has ice water in his veins. He is calm and collected. He doesn’t do nothing out of his game. He makes quick shot after quick shot. Everyone does their stuff but guys like that deserve a lot of respect,” said Harris.
The Aces can close out Meralco in Game Four on Saturday at the Cuneta Astrodome, but Harris knows the Bolts well enough by now to expect another dogfight.
“We know that team never quits. They haven’t stopped fighting since the beginning. They got off to a slow start and now, they are showing why they always get into the finals. He (Durham) is showing why he is a former two-time (Best Import)," said Harris.
"We didn’t expect anything less."