RAIN or Shine coach Yeng Guiao said he expects returning import Arizona Reid to take over in the early goings of the PBA Governors Cup since his key players will be jumping into the season-ending tournament straight from their stints with Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba-Asia championships.
Guiao’s top local players - Jeff Chan, Gabe Norwood and big man Beau Belga - are all with the Gilas national pool, whose stint in the Manila tournament serving as a qualifier for next year's world championships in Spain will end on August 11, or three days before the start of the Governors Cup.
“Masaya kami because we got Arizona Reid as our import but at the same time, we’ve got three of our key players still with Gilas in preparation for Fiba-Asia,” Guiao told Spin.ph after the team’s practice on Friday.
“They will practically have no time to practice with us because the conference starts on August 14 and the Fiba-Asia ends on August 11. Maikli pa ang conference,” he added.
Guiao, though, isn’t complaining, saying Rain or Shine is committed to supporting the national squad.
“Malaking sacrifice lang talaga ito on our part since three of our best players are with the national team,” he said. “Concern ko lang naman is they have no time to jell with the rest and with our import.”
Nevertheless, Guiao is hopeful that the Commissioner’s Office will grant them a favorable playdate once the season-ending conference begins in order to give his Gilas players time to practice with the team.
The 27-year-old Reid, the 2011 Governors Cup best import, had his first practice with the Elasto Painters on Friday since coming off an impressive 25-game stint with Benetton Fribourg Olympic in Switzerland’s professional league.
In 25 games, Reid averaged 15.5 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists in 30.4 minutes of play.
Guiao said he believes Reid fits the team perfectly because of his versatility.
“He may not be as big as the other imports na kinukuha ng ibang teams but definitely, his style can help our team because he plays with aggressiveness, can shoot from the outside and is an active defender,” said the outspoken Rain or Shine mentor.
Rain or Shine is the defending champion of the Governors Cup.