BALIK-IMPORT Paul Harris exploded for 28 of his game-high 37 points in the second half to lift Talk ‘N Text past a sloppy GlobalPort side, 97-82, and into the solo lead in the PBA Governors Cup on Friday night at the Cuneta Astrodome.
Harris, who came in to replace the ineffective Rodney Carney, peppered the Batang Pier with all six of his three-pointers in the second half when the Tropang Texters made the decisive breakway on the way to their fifth win in six games.
The Batang Pier absorbed their fourth straight defeat to drop to a tie with the Meralco Bolts and Barako Bull Energy at the bottom of the standings with their 1-5 record.
“We welcome Paul Harris with open arms. We know he has helped us win a championship before,” said Talk ‘N Text coach Norman Black.
"And today was a good game for us because even if we struggled a lot in the first half, Paul Harris made some big shots in the second half that helped us separate from Globalport."
Harris, who also grabbed 14 rebounds, is now the Texters’ third import this conference after Carney and Othyus Jeffers, who was forced to quit owing to problems in his NBA contract.
This conference also marks Harris’ third stint in the league, having led the Texters to the Commissioner’s Cup title in the 2011 season as well as a semifinal stint during the 2012 Governors Cup.
While Harris took care of Talk ‘N Text’s offense with his outside sniping, the rest of the locals took turns clogging the painted area that prevented GlobalPort’s bullstrong import Dior Lowhorn from wreaking havoc.
Lowhorn, who averaged more than 35 points per contest in his first two outings with GlobalPort, was held down to just 22 points on 13 attempts overall.
Black’s solid frontline of Nonoy Baclao, Kelly Williams and Harvey Carey took turns bodying up on the 6-4 Lowhorn all throughout the game.
Alex Cabagnot added 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Batang Pier, who missed the services of Fil-Am forward Jay Washington due to tonsilitis.
Talk 'N Text 97 - Harris 37, Castro 14, De Ocampo 13, Fonacier 7, Reyes Ryan 7, Alapag 5, Williams 4, Canaleta 4, Seigle 2, Reyes Jai 2, Baclao 2, Aban 0, Carey 0.
GlobalPort 82 - Lowhorn 22, Cabagnot 17, Menk 11, Yee 8, Romeo 8, Buenafe 5, Lingganay 4, Hayes 3, Ponferada 2, Macapagal 2, Salvador 0, Acuna 0.
Quarterscores: 23-23, 41-39, 69-63, 97-82