PBA fans will forever remember Tony Harris as the man who scored an all-time record 105 points for Swift in a game against Ginebra in Iloilo City in 1992.
But this historic scoring performance didn't come without warning.
Harris wasted no time wowing Filipino fans, scoring 87 points for the Meaties in a 134-106 victory over San Miguel on September 22, 1992 - a record that still stands for most points scored by an import in his debut.
According to a report by Rocky Nazareno for The Standard, Harris was nearly unstoppable when he shot 18-of-27 from two-point range, 8-of-18 from three-point region, and 27-of-30 from the free throw line.
“Now I know how Chuck Daly feels,” then-Swift coach Yeng Guiao was quoted as saying after the match, referring to the cosch of Michael Jordan and the Dream Team in the Barcelona Olympics held that same year.
Harris was labeled as the 'next Billy Ray Bates' in the report after that scoring explosion.
“He destroyed us,” San Miguel coach Norman Black after the match.
Before taking the PBA by storm, Harris played in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) with the Quad City Thunder before earning a call-up to the NBA from the Philadelphia 76ers in 1991, albeit for a brief time.
Harris returned to Quad City and also had a stint with the Grand Rapids Hoops in the CBA before that PBA call-up in 1992.
With Harris showing the way, the Meaties finished the elimination and semifinal rounds with a 14-5 record to advance to the championship series outright. Swift then swept 7-Up in the best-of-seven affair, giving the RFM franchise and Guiao their first-ever PBA crown.
The series-winning Game 4 saw Harris going off once again for 58 points in the Mighty Meaties’ 119-106 conquest of the Uncolas.
Harris also won the first and only Best Import award of his PBA career.
While fans will be known for the 105, it was the 87-point effort that set the tone for Harris’ stay in the Philippines.
“Kunin na nila si Michael Jordan para mapigil nila itong import namin,” said Al Solis after Harris’ debut.