Coach Leo Austria admits miscommunication over AZ Reid injury: 'He never told me na ganun ka-seryoso'
SMB import AZ Reid scored 41 points in almost 41 minutes of play against Globalport despite nursing an injured Achilles heel. Jaime Campos

SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria admitted he didn’t initially know that AZ Reid was nursing a foot injury in their PBA Governors’ Cup game against GlobalPort, prompting him to keep using the prolific import extensively in the road game in Antipolo on Friday night.

Reid said he is facing the possibility of missing games after revealing he played through an injured Achilles heel that left him underperforming, particularly on defense, against the Batang Pier.

“Nagkaroon kami ng miscoummunication dahil hindi nasabi sa akin right away na mayroon siyang injury,” Austria admitted in a call he made to late Friday night to apologize that he declined, albeit politely, an interview to a couple of scribes at the Ynares Center.

Austria fielded Reid, who came in averaging 44.3 minutes in his first five games, for almost 41 minutes in their 98-92 loss to the Batang Pier.

“He never told me that na ganun ka-seryoso,” the SMB coach said of Reid’s injury. “Minsan nagbibiruan kami na sinasabi niya na hindi ako maglalaro, tapos pagdating ng game, siya yung napaka-gandang laro. So parang sanay na ako.”

“Ako naman, pag nakita kong nagbihis sila at naglaro, ina-assume ko that they are healthy,” he added.

Reid did manage to score 41 points, but Austria felt the two-time Best Import’s defense was lacking.

“That’s why we were wondering kanina dun sa defense niya,” Austria said. “Offensively, it’s okay kasi hindi naman kailangan mag-ga-galaw eh, nasa poste lang o kaya titira sa labas.”

“Hindi siya yung dating AZ na dumedepensa,” he added. “Actually, bilib na bilib ako sa kanya sa depensa especially sa big man sa poste.”

Austria said they will evaluate Reid’s injury, having him go through an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test.

“We cannot afford to lose him or play without an import,” said Austria, whose team faces perennial finals rival Alaska next.   

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