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    Northport in haste to bring in new import Artis in time for resumption

    Jan 25, 2022
    Jamel Gurley Artis Ionikos Fiba Europe Cup
    Jamel Gurley Artis saw action for Ionikos in the Fiba Europe Cup.
    PHOTO: Fiba.basketball

    JUST as PBA teams are rushing up to finally holds scrimmages for the pending start of the Governors’ Cup, NorthPort is rushing to have its import finally arrive here in the country.

    NorthPort import: Jamel Gurley Artis

    The surge of COVID-19 not only in the country but also in the U.S. further delayed the arrival of new reinforcement Jamel Gurley Artis.

    The holiday season and the spike in COVID cases further delayed the issuance of a working visa for the import that is coming in as a replacement for the injured Cameron Forte.

    But the 28-year-old Artis already secured a visa, SPIN.ph learned, and is just awaiting for his travel papers before flying over to Manila.

    “This week ang dating niya,” said NorthPort coach Pido Jarencio on Tuesday. “Waiting pa rin, sana walang aberya.”

    A Baltimore native, Artis already reached an agreement with NorthPort management as early as last week of December, but couldn’t acquire a visa due to the holiday season.

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    Then the sudden surge in COVID cases after the Christmas and New Year break further complicated his situation.

    As any consolation, the PBA had to postpone temporarily games in the season-ending tournament due to health concerns, giving Artis ample time to work on his documents and get to know his NorthPort teammates once he arrived in the country.

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    But as health protocols, the import still needs to observe the mandatory quarantine for all arriving passengers before he gets to join the Batang Pier in formal practices.

    The league is looking to resume the season by the first week of February after the 10-day scheduled scrimmages for all 12 teams.

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      Artis is coming off a stint in the Greek Basketball League, where he suited up for the AO Ionikos Nikajas and averaged 7.0 points, 2.5 rebounds, and 1.3 assists.

      All eyes will definitely be on him once he makes his league debut as the Batang Pier are currently winless in four games.

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      Jamel Gurley Artis saw action for Ionikos in the Fiba Europe Cup.
      PHOTO: Fiba.basketball
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