MIKE Harris and Henry Walker both spent years playing in the NBA, though they never really had a chance to play against each other in basketball’s biggest stage.
Years later though, they’ve finally crossed paths with each other and it was Harris who came on top in the battle of two NBA vets.
Harris finished with 38 points, 19 rebounds and three steals as he led the Aces to a 116-109 win over the Elite in the PBA Governors’ Cup on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“I’ve seen him play, a few times on off days, and I’ve known Henry for a while, we don’t play against each other often so I know it’s gonna be a great game,” said Harris.
“He’s a competitor like myself, he likes to win. When you come over as an import, it’s demanding on you. For him, he has to do a lot,” he added.
Despite the loss, Walker made a great account of himself as usual as he finished with a triple-double of 29 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in the loss.
Harris was quick to tip his hat off to his foe, not only for this game but with the way he’s led the Elite all conference long.
“Those guys, they’re confidence has been uplifted since the start of the season. They’re playing amazing. He’s doing a tremendous job with those guys,” Harris continued.
“We knew it was gonna be a dogfight. They played their butts off and we’re just fortunate enough to get a couple of stops in the end and hit some shots.”
The win pushed the Aces in a good spot in the rankings as they tied Magnolia and Ginebra at the top of the standings with a 7-2 record. The top four teams after the elimination round gets a twice-to-beat incentive, though Harris said it’s something that he doesn’t look at.
“People talk about the top four and to be honest with you, I really don’t care about the top four. No disrespect to the top four but everywhere I play, whether I’m at the top seed or the bottom seed, my objective’s to win,” said Harris.
“A lot of people talk about it. I don’t look at stats. I don’t go online and look at stats. I could care less about that. When you start doing that you start focusing on other stuff and it takes you out of your game. I just know we got NLEX next, I’ll just enjoy this one and it’s on to the next one.”