ARIZONA Reid once again haunted former team Rain or Shine on Tuesday night, leading San Miguel Beer to a 104-91 victory that eased the team's early struggles in the PBA Governors Cup on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
After opening the conference with two anemic performances due to food poisoning, Reid scored 15 points in a 23-9 tear in the third quarter that enabled the Beermen to create separation with the Elasto Painters, 75-59 bubble.
The Elasto Painters managed to narrow the gap to 95-89 entering the final two minutes, but Reid was there to save the day again as he scored five of the team’s last nine points to seal San Miguel’s first win in three starts.
Reid finished with 36 points - 28 coming in the second half. He also had 11 rebounds and six assists to get another win over Rain or Shine, although this one had none of the confrontations with Yeng Guiao that marred their first meeting.
“A lot of people were criticizing us, especially the players," said San Miguel coach Leo Austria, who had come under fire after losses to KIA (83-78) and Meralco (106-95).
"We read about the articles in the newspapers on the trading of players or the change of coach. And it (change) could happen anytime. But whatever happens sa team, I’m accountable,” he added.
However, Austria, who steered San Miguel to the Philippine Cup title this season, said part of the reason for the Beermen’s slow 0-2 start were injuries that hit some of his key players.
Austria bared veteran forward Arwind Santos suffered a left shoulder injury a week before the start of the tournament, while Marcio Lassiter is battling a viral infection.
Starting slotman June Mar Fajardo sprained his ankle three days before San Miguel’s opening game against KIA, while Reid went down with a bum stomach which was later on diagnosed as gastroenteritis, he added.
Fajardo finished with 22 points and 18 rebounds against Rain or Shine.
“Today, we were able to follow our game plan after what happened to us,” he said. “Nagkaroon ng sense of urgency ngayon sa team because we cannot afford to have a bad start.”
Due to the spate of injuries, Austria said the team is now open to hiring an Asian import.
Wendell McKines led Rain or Shine with 19 points and 10 rebounds, but went just 3-of-10 from the foul line. Paul Lee added 17 and six rebounds for the Elasto Painters, who were without Jeff Chan and Chris Tiu.
San Miguel 104 - Reid 36, Fajardo 22, Cabagnot 9, Lassiter 9, Tubid 8, Santos 6, Lutz 4, Ross 4, Espinas 4, Reyes 2, Omolon 0.
Rain or Shine 91 - McKines 19, Lee 17, Norwood 12, Quinahan 12, Cruz Jericho 11, Almazan 8, Uyloan 7, Ibanes 3, Belga 2, Teng 0, Arana 0, Cruz Jervy 0.
Quarterscores: 25-20, 43-42, 75-59, 104-91