AZ Reid says stint with Aguilas in ABL will keep him in top shape for return to San Miguel
AZ Reid says his stint with the Aguilas is like hitting two birds with one stone as he looks to stay in shape for an anticipated return stint with SMB in the PBA Governors Cup. Snow Badua

TWO-TIME PBA Best Import awardee Arizona Reid hopes to reprise his success with San Miguel as he officially joined the Pacquiao Powervit Philippine Aguilas in the Asean Basketball League.

While looking to bring the Aguilas to a championship in their ABL debut, the 6-3 Reid said his stint in the regional league will keep him in great shape for the PBA Governors Cup where he hopes to lead the Beermen's title defense.

“That’s why I accepted this job (here at Powervit Aguilas). I want to get ready and keep my body in shape, be focused and have better basketball when I come back to San Miguel, because I know, everybody will be aiming for us and be ready for us,” he said.

“After here, I go back to San Miguel and be ready.”

[See As PBA season opened, Willie Miller, Salvacion, Reid happy where they are]

So confident is the American player of his form and success with the Aguilas that he guaranteed a return to the Beermen camp in the season-ending PBA conference set to kick off in July.

“I'll guarantee you all that I am coming back to San Miguel (in) the third conference. I guarantee. I want to get after it (another championship),” said Reid.

Although he tinkered with the thought of retiring from the PBA last season, Reid, 31, has no doubt he will be up to the task in the Beermen's title defense.

Reid vowed to give it his best to make the Aguilas the third Philippine side after the Philippine Patriots and San Miguel Beermen to win a championship in the Southeast Asia's regional league.

“Every game, you know what to expect from me. I’ve been doing it for a long time. Fans, I won’t disappoint you. I am still AZ,” he added.

“Of course, you always want to win a championship and that’s a lot of pressure on me. Everybody has high expectations for me. You know, but I want to give them what they want,” he said.

“My goal is go and defend the title and that’s what I am coming back to do.”

Having been a fixture in the PBA for the past six years, Reid, who reached the finals thrice with Rain or Shine, bared he has learned to consider the Philippines as his second home.

“Philippines has been my second home. And playing here at Pacman Aguilas is like short of saying I am playing for Gilas. I’ve been here almost six years. I am thankful to be here, for all the opportunities, this country has welcomed me with open arms, so I would appreciate this opportunity,” he said with a smile.


Watch video of interview with AZ Reid:

Reid bared interest to play for the Gilas cadets, if given the chance.

“This is the closest thing I can play for Team Philippines. I want to play for the cadets. ‘Hey Andray Blatche, you don’t have to play for the cadets. I got it. Don’t worry, Blatche, I’ll take some load off you,” he said.

Powervit Aguilas consultant Junnie Navarro bared Reid was their first and only choice for import.

“Siya talaga ang unanimous choice namin as import because we saw his work ethic and his performance sa PBA lalo na nung last championship,” said Navarro, a Zamboanga-based member of Team Pacquiao.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua