OPPOSING imports hardly get involved in arguments against each other. After all, they have an affinity and usually look out for one another.
But Sunday was a rare occurrence when Reggie Johnson and Malcolm White engaged in a heated conversation that went on for a few possessions late in Rain or Shine’s 96-90 win over GlobalPort in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The burly Elasto Painters import and the hulking Batang Pier reinforcement were in a word war that proved to be a sidelight in a highly physical battle.
“It was an intense conversation,” Johnson admitted. “I feel like Malcolm is a wild player. I'm gonna leave it on the court, I don't wanna bring it to the media, what was going back and forth.”
“But it wasn't a friendly conversation, you know. I'ma leave it at that,” he added.
Good thing, the word war didn’t lead to a fistfight as Johnson was glad he kept his emotions in check.
“There was a lot of talking and tripping going on, aggressiveness, but I'm an aggressive guy by nature, you know, so we can play finesse, and we can play aggressive,” Johnson said. “I think we did a good job tonight of responding.”
Johnson said it was his first-ever encounter with White in their journeyman careers.
“I have never seen him,” Johnson said. “My first time seeing Malcolm was two games ago when I was watching film on someone. I've never seen him, never heard of him.”
And in their first matchup, Johnson was glad he got the last laugh by towing the Elasto Painters to their fifth win in six games to regain the solo lead.
“We got the win, so I definitely I got the better of him,” Johnson said. “If we see those guys in the playoffs, that would be an exciting match-up, something I would look forward to. But you know, we gotta handle our business to make the playoffs. So who knows what the future holds?”
“If we see them, I'm sure it's gonna be great for the fans and they'll wanna come out and watch that,” he added.