When the Alaska Aces dropped 0-2 in their 2018 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals series versus the Magnolia Hotshots last Friday, Mike Harris remained undaunted, saying the situation isn’t new to him.
“I’ve been down two-zero before. It’s a big deal, but it’s not,” said the 35-year-old Harris, who has been playing ball in various parts of the globe since 2005, including the NBA. “You take it one game at a time.
“It’s still first to four [wins].”
And come Game Three Sunday night in Antipolo, Harris proved it.
The 6-foot-5 American erupted for 36 points on an excellent 63 percent shooting – including 4-of-7 from beyond the arc – alongside 18 rebounds to help the Milkmen send Magnolia to their worst Finals loss, 100-71.
Harris went berserk in the third quarter; he exploded for 22 points in that period alone, highlighted by a rare four-point play completion off a Romeo Travis foul, that gave the Aces a 70-49 advantage with 3:11 on the clock.
“I got a couple of shots to go in, very fortunate to finally hit some outside shots. Good thing my teammates, they know what I’m capable of and they just told me to keep shooting. Today was just one of those days,” said Harris.
“Coach [Alex Compton] got on me in the third quarter. I wasn’t precise with my movements and I get motivated off of trash talking. He said some stuff.”
Game Three is Harris’ best game so far in the best-of-seven series, as he only netted an average of 21.0 points and 14.0 rebounds in the first two games – far from his norms of 30.3 markers and 20.7 caroms through the semifinals.
But even if they got the Hotshots’ attention with the rousing victory, Harris made it clear that the Aces haven’t done anything yet but avoid dropping to a deep and dangerous 0-3 hole.
“I think they knew we weren’t gonna quit, and they’re not gonna quit. I think this is one of those games that we needed to win. If they won this game, they go into Game Four trying to close it. Now both teams are able to refocus.
“[But] We haven’t done anything, we just prevented a sweep. I think now we got their attention a little bit more – but they have our attention as well, they’re leading 2-1,” he declared.
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