Shabazz Muhammad leads Best Import race

Shabazz Muhammad (left) and Mike Harris

San Miguel Beer's Shabazz Muhammad impressive three-game outing in the eliminations has put him on top of the Best Import race in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Muhammad posted 61.0 Statistical Points after replacing fellow ex-NBA player Orlando Johnson to gain the early lead for the award given to conference’s best foreign cager.

The former Minnesota Timberwolves player averaged 39.0 points spiked by his 57-point explosion in SMB’s 115-110 comeback win over Meralco despite being down by 26.

He also produced 19.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 blocks.

His chances of bagging the award will depend on how far SMB can go in the season-ending conference. The Beermen need to win twice over the same Bolts squad going into their quarterfinal matchup which starts Friday.

A distant second with 52.9 Statistical Points is NLEX’s KJ McDaniels, who will no longer be in contention after leaving the team to witness the birth of his newborn child.

Another ex-NBA cager, McDaniels had 30.4 points, 11.5 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 1.5 steals and a league-best 2.8 blocks in 11 games in which he led the Road Warriors to the No. 2 spot and the twice-to-beat advantage in the quarters.

Ranked third is Magnolia Pambansang Manok’s Mike Harris with 52.4 SPs after playing a major role in his team getting the top spot in the eliminations.

Harris may have at this point the best chance of getting the award due to the Hotshots’ 9-2 record in the elims and his averages of 29.6 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists and 1.1 steals.

He was the Best Import back in the 2018 Governors’ Cup during his first PBA duty while wearing the Alaska uniform.

The three are followed by Blackwater’s Shawn Glover (51.50), Meralco’s Tony Bishop (51.45), Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Justin Brownlee (49.9), NorthPort’s Jamel Artis (47.9), Phoenix Super LPG’s Du’Vaughn Maxwell (46.0), Terrafirma’s Antonio Hester (44.1), TNT’s Aaron Fuller (44.0), Rain or Shine’s Henry Walker (38.2) and Alaska’s Olu Ashaolu (36.3).