AFTER getting his feet wet in the PBA, hulking Reginald Johnson is bracing for a game against what he referred to as the 'Los Angeles Lakers of the league.'
Johnson tallied 32 points and 22 rebounds in Rain or Shine’s overtime win over Alaska, 109-103, in the Commissioner’s Cup Friday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in what served as his warmup for the Elasto Painters’ coming showdown with Barangay Ginebra.
The 28-year-old import, whose listed weight is 290 pound, will only have the luxury of 48 hours to rest and recuperate before facing on Sunday the debuting Kings, who are going to be reinforced by Charles Garcia.
“They told me Ginebra is the fan favorite like the Lakers. And I know there’s going to be a lot of fans in the game,” said Johnson, a former Best Import awardee in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) with the Westports Malaysian Dragons.
“That’s what I’m all about. I’m used to playing in front of big crowds in college basketball and the developmental league. So I’m excited about the game,” he added. “Got to rest up and hopefully, give the fans a good game.”
Johnson did pass his baptism of fire for the Elasto Painters as he went 11-of-18 from the field, dished off four assists, and committed just a turnover in 42 minutes of play matching up against Alaska counterpart Antonio Campbell.
Johnson started out like a house on fire, scoring 20 points in the first half, before slowing down a bit the rest of the way. But he vowed there’s still of lot of room for improvement.
The University of Miami alum even suggestedlosing some extra weight for him to be even more effective.
“Of course, that’s always the goal as the season goes on. You continue to lose weight, you continue getting in better physical shape,” he said.
“I’m a work in progress.”
One thing he lamented was Rain or Shine allowed Alaska to drag the team into overtime – after a clutch three-point bank shot of Chris Banchero at the buzzer - when the Elasto Painters could have ended the game outright in regulation.
“We made the game hard than we had to,” he said. “First game jitters for everybody. I was impressed and I’m excited.”