Team manager Bonnie Tan said the Batang Pier are now in talks with the 29-year-old Artis for another tour of duty here after seeing action for the franchise in the 2021 edition of the season-ending meet.
“Pinapa-sign namin si Jamel Artis, yung last import namin,” said the NorthPort official.
Artis did play well in his first stint with the Batang Pier. The product of University of Pittsburgh was tapped to replace the injured Cameron Forte and quickly changed the fortunes of the team.
Unfortunately, the Batang Pier lost to Phoenix Fuel Masters in the playoff for the eighth and last quarterfinals berth, 101-98.
NorthPort actually tried to sign up Qualls as early as last year, but ended up taking Forte as the 28-year-old Qualls was then tied up in Romania and wasn’t available.
By foregoing the services of Qualls, the Batang Pier also lost their rights on him.
“Wala na yung rights sa team kasi one year lang ang allowed,” said Tan, fresh from guiding the Letran Knights to a third consecutive NCAA men's basketball championship.
The sweet-shooting Qualls is best remembered for leading the eighth-seeded Batang Pier past top seed NLEX in the 2019 Governors’ Cup.
NorthPort upset NLEX by twice beating them in the quarterfinals, including their epic sudden-death game, 126-123, that was decided in triple overtime.