I think it's fair to say that Paul Harris has found his niche in the Philippine Basketball Association. Harris scored 18 points and crashed the boards for 10 rebounds to lead the Talk 'N Text Tropang Texters to their second consecutive Commissioner's Cup with a 99-96 overtime win over Barangay Ginebra.
Harris' impact went beyond the stat-sheet; he took an active leadership role in one of the game's decisive moments, with his team down four with only 3:53 remaining in the game:
With just under four minutes to go, during a Talk-N-Text timeout, Paul Harris took his coach's whiteboard. His team down four points, he wanted to grab his team's attention in this Game Six of the Philippine Basketball League Championship game.
Harris simply wrote 3:53, the amount of time left in the game.
"We're going all out," Harris told them. "We're winning the championship."
It's hard to root against Paul. While he drove many of us nuts with some of his decision making while here at Syracuse, it was difficult to question his passion for the game. Paul appears to be having the time of his life in the Philippines because he has the opportunity to play, and excel at, the game he loves, even if he isn't making millions of dollars. After the game, Harris talked with BuffaloNews.com where this PBA championship ranks in his basketball career:
"It's right there with winning the state title in high school and the six-overtime game with Syracuse," Harris said by phone. "It's neck-and-neck with those."
With Paul's impact over in the Philippines, Syracuse continues its domination of Oceanic basketball. I expect Guamanian and Polynesian general managers will be blowing up Arinze Onuaku's cell any day now.