PBA Imports Fantasy Tournament Round 1: Tony Harris vs. Michael Hackett


We continue the PBA Imports Fantasy Tournament, where we picked 24 imports from across eras and grouped them into two brackets, with eight seeded directly into the second round. The remaining 16 will duke it out in our online polls. Our writers will preview each match-up, and you get to vote for the winner here and on One Sports PH's Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

For the fourth match-up, Richard Dy takes a look at the two imports who own the highest and second-highest single game scoring outputs in PBA history: Tony Harris and Michael Hackett.

High-scoring imports are a rarity these days in the PBA. Fans of yesteryear were used to seeing American reinforcements stuff the stat sheets with humongous points, tons of rebounds and a little of everything else.

The most avid PBA fans can sure name their favorite high-scoring imports at any given day and definitely, one can't leave the names of Tony Harris and Michael Hackett out of the conversation.

You see, Harris and Hackett had something in common, being the only two imports in the PBA's rich history to have scored 100 or more points in a single game in their respective stints in the pro league.

Both imports were unstoppable on offense, a reason why the RFM franchise and Ginebra, respectively brought them back several times during import conferences.


Nicknamed the "Hurricane", Harris, then just a year removed from his brief stint with the Philadelphia 76ers, took the PBA by storm during his initial foray with the Swift Mighty Meaties in the 1992 Third Conference.

Using a combination of quickness, lights-out shooting and athleticism, the former shooting guard out of New Orleans scored 60 or more points at least 10 times during the season-ending conference in 1992 to lead Swift to its very first championship in franchise history.

He was the hands-down choice for the 1992 Best Import in the Third Conference.

As if his 57 points per game average during his first PBA stint wasn't absurd enough, the 6-foot-3 American upped the ante further by dropping an out-of-this-world 105 points in Swift's 151-147 win over Ginebra before a packed crowd at the University of San Agustin gym in Iloilo City on October 10, 1992.

His single-game scoring outburst of 105 points erased the previous 103 markers set by Ginebra's Hackett in a battle-of-third match in the 1985 PBA Reinforced Conference.

To this day, no import has ever come close to Harris' single-game scoring standard.

His record-setting, single-game effort also included 45-of-53 free throws made, along with 59 points scored by halftime. Both stats also entered the PBA record books.

He got hacked, tripped and elbowed by multiple defenders every time he would drive to the basket. But the gritty Harris was hardly intimidated as he'd still leave defenders shaking their heads in disbelief for his ability to get his points.

Harris would return the following season in Swift's title-retention bid for the third conference, which was renamed the Governors' Cup. His per-game average went down to 48 points (still impressive numbers then) per contest as Harris and the Mighty Meaties fell short of their back-to-back title bid. Swift succumbed to San Miguel Beer in the Finals, 4-1.

The former 76er and Boston Celtic guard had two more comeback stints for the RFM franchise in the 1996 and 1998 Governors' Cup. But his return PBA trips didn't last long as his team failed to make it back to the Finals.

Still, for PBA fans who lived to see him play in the 1990s, the lasting image they have of Harris was the American guard, who'd shoot the lights out, score in bunches and lead Swift to the 4-0 sweep of 7-Up in the Finals.


Built like a tank, Hackett was a dominant post player down low when he first burst into the PBA scene as Ginebra's reinforcement in the 1985 Reinforced Conference.

The amiable import out of Jacksonville did much of his talking on the court- scoring in bunches with timely putbacks, wisely using his size and heft to outmuscle his defender and possessing a decent short-range game.

Although he came up short of leading Ginebra to a title in his initial PBA stint, Hackett highlighted year one in the Philippine pro league by winning the Best Import award and scoring 103 points on November 21, 1985.

The 21st pick in the third round by the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1982 NBA Draft achieved the personal feat after leading Ginebra to a 197-168 win over Great Taste in Game 1 of their best-of-7 battle for third series.

The following year, Ginebra brought back Hackett, but this time, paired him with two-time PBA Best Import Billy Ray Bates in what is arguably the best import combination in league history.

With Hackett taking care of the post, scoring inside, grabbing rebounds and providing solid interior defense, Bates went on to wreak havoc on open court and perimeter shooting.

Their tandem proved successful as Ginebra bagged the franchise's first-ever PBA title when they ruled the 1986 Open Conference via a 4-2 Finals victory over Manila Beer.

Hackett returned one last time for Ginebra in the 1987 Open Conference, leading the league's crowd darling to a semifinal finish.

The winner of this match-up will face Norman Black in the next round.

Who wins this matchup, Harris or Hackett? Cast your vote below or on our Facebook page.