Magnolia taps former Best Import Mike Harris as reinforcement for second conference

After failing to capture the All-Filipino crown, Magnolia immediately made a move to bolster its chances of claiming the franchise’s 15th PBA title in the league’s 46th season.

The Hotshots have secured a commitment from former Best Import Mike Harris as their reinforcement for the upcoming import-laden second conference.

Coach Chito Victolero confirmed both parties have already agreed to join forces pending the go-signal of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) clearing imports to play in the country.

“For now okay na siya sa amin. Nag-commit siya and we’re also committed to him,” said Victolero

“Pero kailangan namin malaman kung kailan ba sila puwede nang papuntahin dito,” he added.

Harris, 38, was named as the Best Import while playing for Alaska in the 2018 Governors Cup. He powered the Aces to the championship round but lost to the Romeo Travis-led Hotshots, 4-2.

Victolero stressed that the Aces don’t have the rights to the former NBA player anymore.

The 2010 NBA D-League MVP remains in playing condition since he just came off a stint in Bahrain where he led the squad to the championship.

“Kakatapos lang ng liga nila and yung asawa niya nanganak so he’s resting for a while. So tamang-tama yung offer namin sa kanya,” said the 45-year-old tactician.

But like every other PBA club, the Hotshots are still waiting for the IATF to give the league the green light to finally allow imports to play in the country as soon as possible.

“Dapat talaga malaman na yung timeline kung kailan ba ng mga teams kailangan ng magpapunta (ng imports),” Victolero said.

With no government approval, the league couldn’t establish a start date for the second conference.

Previously, the PBA was planning to begin the import-laced meet in the mid-November, but considering the strict requirements that must be met by the imports in order for them to be able to play here, including the mandatory quarantine protocols, Victolero doesn’t think the conference opener will proceed as scheduled.

“Medyo mahirap yun, kasi wala pa ngang requirements yung mga imports, tapos may quarantine pa,” he said.

Harris committing to the 14-time PBA champs comes at the heels of the team’s runner-up finish to the TNT Tropang Giga in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.

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