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Harp returning to PBA?

By Manolo Iñigo
Philippine Daily Inquirer



IF PLANS DO NOT MISCARRY, Davonn Harp, a 6-foot-8 demon in defense, is set to suit up anew with the Barako Bull (formerly Red Bull) in the coming Philippine Basketball Association cage wars.

Harp was told recently that he could rejoin the PBA after the Department of Justice and other government agencies reportedly gave him the go signal to play in the league after submitting the needed documents proving he has Filipino roots.

The PBA had earlier barred Harp and his Red Bull teammate 6-foot-9 Mick Pennisi after failing to meet the citizenship requirements.

Following the departure of big men Harp and Pennisi, then Red Bull coach Guiao said, ?Red Bull was wounded by that huge hole in the middle.?

In the 2001-2002 seasons, the Barakos were winners not only because of a flashy offense, but also because of a hard-nosed defense.

Without Harp and Pennisi?who has since transferred to San Miguel Beer?Barako Bull new head coach Leo Isaac has a lot of work ahead of him.

?Certainly, Harp would be a welcome addition to the team,? Isaac was quoted as saying during a recent TV interview, adding that Harp?s presence would boost the team?s rebuilding program.

?But it?s going to be difficult,? said a basketball cognoscenti. ?Coach Isaac is not in for a picnic.?

The team has been hurt badly following the loss of top players Enrico Villanueva, Lordy Tugade, Junthy Valenzuela, Cyrus Baguio and longtime coach Yeng Guiao.

* * *

These past days have made me very proud and happy. My idol, billiards icon Efren ?Bata? Reyes, beat the previously unbeaten American pool sensation, Shannon ?The Cannon? Daulton, in the Galveston One Pocket World Classic held at the Moody Gardens Hotel and Convention Center at Galveston, Texas, on Saturday.

A Hall-of-Famer, Reyes proved once more that the Filipino is second to no one when it comes to playing billiards. Only last week, the 55-year-old Reyes teamed up with his kumpadre, Francisco ?Django? Bustamante, to win this year?s World Cup of Pool, becoming the first ever tandem to repeat as champions of the annual event featuring the best and toughest doubles players in the world. The Filipino duo won the inaugural tournament in 2006.

Then on Friday, another esteemed friend, bowling legend Rafael ?Paeng? Nepomuceno, earned another crack at the World Cup title by beating much younger opponents in the national tournament held at Paeng?s Eastwood Bowl in Libis, Quezon City.

Already 52, Nepomuceno humbled up-and-coming Benshir Layoso, 217-201, 242-195, in the men?s finals.

Paeng will be gunning for his record fifth Bowling World Cup championship in his 16th stint at the World Cup finals set this time in Melaka, Malaysia. Also making the World Cup trip was another veteran internationalist, Liza del Rosario, who routed Krizziah Tabora, 204-180, 201-165, in the finals.

Also deserving of praise is my pamangkin, the soft-spoken Nathaniel ?Tac? Padilla, who shattered the national rapid fire pistol record recently, firing 577 points to surpass his own mark of 572, the same score posted by 2007 Thailand SEA Games medalist Adzha Hafiz of Malaysia.

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