IT was an episode that took place almost a decade ago, but for Charles Rhodes it was a perfect time to get back at college rival Shawn Taggart.
The San Miguel import bucked personal foul trouble to win his match-up against his Rain or Shine counterpart as the Beermen streaked to their fifth straight win in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup by whipping the Elasto Painters, 111-98, Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Rhodes finished with 26 points and six rebounds compared to the 24 and 10 of Taggart. But more importantly, his team got the win that somehow settled the score he had with him dating back to their college days when his alma mater Mississippi State was booted out by Taggart’s Memphis Tigers during the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
“That was my last college game. So I just want to win this game because the last time I lost,” he recalled of the experience.
But it’s not exactly an excess baggage that he carried all along. More important for him was San Miguel keeping its unbeaten streak in the mid-season conference to keep the solo lead.
“It’s a bigger breather to be 5-and 0 and to win this game, with my teammates stepping up when I got into foul trouble,” he said.
Outside of Rhodes, six Beermen finished in double figures led by the 15 of back up big man Gabby Espinas.
The emotional import said that should be the essence of a team, stepping up when a member of the team is down just like what the locals did when he found himself in foul trouble again.
“It’s great that when I get into foul trouble, they step up. And when they get into foul trouble, I step up,” he stressed. “That’s what the team is all about. That’s why we got good chemistry.”