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Matthew Wright thinks Paul Harris 'perfect import' for Phoenix

Paul Harris could be the missing piece to Phoenix's title run. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—Has Phoenix finally found the import that would propel the team to its first PBA title in Paul Harris?

Matthew Wright thinks it's the case.

The Fuel Masters have been known to recruiting Eugene Phelps for the season-ending Governors' Cup.

But Wright, on behalf of his teammates, said that Harris could be the right man for the job thanks to his selflessness.

Known to be a far cry from a typical PBA import who would take a bunch of shots almost all game long ever since he came along as TNT's foreign reinforcement in 2011, Harris loves to let everyone involved instead of taking over by himself.

It was once again showed in his first PBA game after five years, only shooting 15 tries from the field, making eight of them.

While he only successfully dished three assists and even led Phoenix in scoring with 24 points in the game, Harris basically helped Wright, Jason Perkins, and Chris Banchero get their usual numbers to lead the team to a come-from-behind win against Terrafirma on Thursday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

[Related Story: Phoenix takes flight in Q4 to edge Terrafirma]

"We feel like we have a great import in Paul that doesn't need the ball every single time. Instead, he likes to play within the team not like a traditional import who takes 20 or 30 shots. He likes to involve the locals and the rest of us," Wright said after the game.

Coach Topex Robinson, on the other hand, bared that the Fuel Masters' coaching staff wanted Harris to have a monster outing in his first PBA appearance since a fractured thumb turned his 2016 Governors' Cup stint with Barangay Ginebra into a one-and-done deal.

"We try to remind him, 'Paul, you're an import. You should be taking your shots,'" Robinson said.

Eventually, Robinson concedes that the now 35-year-old Harris is simply playing his role that he is known for.

"Paul is an import that forgets that he is an import. Ang mindset niya is always to get everybody involved. He's aware of everybody's presence. He doesn't look at his offense," Robinson continued. "He's a selfless individual. What he brings to us are his energy, his leadership, and the will to win. He's really been vocal. He says it like he means it, and he's really a big blessing for us."

With everything that has been uttered, Wright had this to say for Harris on behalf of the Fuel Masters: "We feel like he's the perfect import for us."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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