JAY-R Reyes will have to wait a while longer before he gets his chance to face his former team as he will miss Kia’s PBA Philippine Cup matchup against San Miguel Beer on Friday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
The veteran big man has been eager to take on the Beermen, where he spent the last two years before getting shipped to the Picanto in a controversial pre-draft trade that allowed SMB to get this year’s eventual top pick Christian Standhardinger.
But Reyes aggravated a right ankle sprain in his team’s 95-76 loss to Blackwater last Friday when he returned after a two-week absence.
“Mas namaga,” the 33-year-old center told SPIN.ph on the eve of his first game against his former team that tips off at 4:30 p.m. “Sayang, excited pa naman ako makalaban SMB.”
Reyes would’ve had the chance to showcase his vintage play in the paint in the absence of SMB superstar June Mar Fajardo, who’s out on national duty.
Ronald Tubid and Rashawn McCarthy, the two other former SMB players traded to Kia, will have to carry the load for the Picanto as they try to end another disappointing conference on a positive note with only their second win in 11 games.
But it’s definitely easier said than done for the cellar-dwelling Picanto in taking on the defending champion and pacesetting Beermen, who are seeking to grab their eighth win in 10 games that will lock up their position that comes with a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.
Rain or Shine, running third at 5-3, takes the first of three chances to clinch a playoff berth outright as it tangles with Alaska (6-4) in the second game at 7 o’clock.