ARIZONA Reid scored a flurry of baskets in a late-game run to help Rain or Shine arrest a two-game slide behind a convincing 109-95 victory over skidding Air21 on Saturday’s PBA Governors Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Fresh off the bench after resting for the first six minutes of the final period, Reid, the former league Best Import, accounted for 12 of the team’s last 16 points just as the Express were closing in to save the E-Painters from a monumental collapse.
The 6-foot-4 do-it-all import led the way with 39 points on an efficient 17-of-26 shooting from the field, on top of 19 rebounds and four assists.
“This is a big game for us. Coming back from two bad losses,” said Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, whose team lost by an average margin of 15 points in its last two outings.
“For the meantime, it (the win) stopped the bleeding for us. It’s important (to win) because losing would have meant just trying to survive the conference and winning meant getting back to contention,” he added.
Paul Lee returned to action after missing Wednesday’s 79-94 blowout loss to Alaska with a sprained ankle. He scored 19 points, grabbed three rebounds, dished off six assists, and had three steals for Rain or Shine, which improved to a 3-2 record.
Guiao also expressed satisfaction over the way his team put the clamps on Air21’s import Zach Graham, who was held down to just 18 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the field.
Locals KG Canaleta and Mike Cortez stepped up offensively as Graham struggled, combining for 46 big points, although Reid’s overpowering endgame performance was just too much for the Express to overcome.
Rain or Shine (109) -- Reid 39, Lee 19, Arana 14, Belga 9, Norwood 7,Chan 7, Cruz 4, Quinahan 4, Matias 2, Tang 2, Ibanes 2, Tiu 0, Rodriguez 0.
Air21 (95) -- Canaleta 25, Cortez 21, Graham 18, Manuel 13, Isip 10, Sharma 5, Sena 2, Custodio 1, Omolon 0, Arboleda 0.
Quarterscores: 26-21; 52-47; 80-72; 109-95.