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Qualls says he got called the N-word, clears air on step on Varilla


NorthPort import Michael Qualls said that he received racist remarks from one of NLEX’s players while the Batang Pier and Road Warriors battled in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup quarterfinals on Monday.

“One of them players called me the N-word and I didn’t like that. Just a couple of racist comments,” the former NBA G-League veteran said, though he did not name who did such.

It was a tough night for Qualls, as his patience was tested — especially late in the game, when he and Road Warriors rookie Paul Varilla got into a scuffle with 4:54 remaining in the match.

It all started when Qualls attacked the rim and inadvertently landed on the chest of Varilla. The accident did not sit well with the latter, as he came charging towards the lanky American.

Qualls then received an arm to the nape from Poy Erram when the 6-foot-7 center came to the defense of Varilla. As a result, officials threw out both Erram and Varilla from the game.

Varilla said that Qualls intentionally stepped on him, but the 25-year-old from Louisiana cleared his name.

“Nah man. I will just be trying to get to the basket. He fell, then I didn’t want to hurt my legs so I didn’t have anywhere else to step,” said Qualls, who came in to replace Mychal Ammons.

Qualls, though, remained unshaken with all that had happened to him. He finished with 39 points, 16 rebounds, five assists, and two blocks to power the Batang Pier to the big 115-90 win.

NorthPort is now just one win away from blowing the twice-to-beat advantage of NLEX.

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“I just want to win. As long as we win, that’s enough talking. They can talk, they want to fight or whatever do whatever outside the court. But other than that, I’m me who I am every night,” he said.

“And I’m not going to back down from anybody. Neither is our team.”

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.


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