San Miguel explodes on offense, blows out Rain or Shine
MANILA, Philippines - If there’s anything that could give Kyrie Irving and his hot shooting spree against the San Antonio Spurs a run for their money, it’s the way Arizona Reid and his teammates performed on Friday, March 13.
The San Miguel Beermen import was torching any kind of defense thrown at him all-game long, finishing with 41 points, with 6 3-pointers, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists to lead his new team past his old club, the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, 129-114, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
It was a critical win for San Miguel, who improves to 3-6 in the 2015 PBA Commissioner’s Cup and needs every win from here on out in order to better contend for a playoff seed.
They're currently slotted at the no. 11 seed, but only 8 teams will be given tickets to the postseason.
“Any win for us talagang cinecelebrate nila because they know our situation,” SMB head coach Leo Austria said after the contest.
(Any win for us, the players are really celebrating it because they know our situation.)
“I’m just thankful for this game because nakikita [ko] yung clear view nang quarterfinals,” Austria also said about his team, whose total scoring output was the highest so far in a game this PBA season.
(I’m just thankful for this game because I can see a clear view of the quarter finals.)
Reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo was also fantastic, registering a conference-best 30 points and 19 rebounds. As a team, San Miguel shot 48% from the field and went 16-of-31 from downtown. They also trooped to the free throw line 38 times and made 29 charities.
The floodgates opened for SMB in the third period after Rain or Shine trimmed a 12-point lead to four, 67-63, following baskets by Ryan Arana and Beau Belga.
A 3-ball my Marcio Lassiter regained momentum for his club, and that was quickly followed by free throws by Fajardo and a jumper from Reid, 76-65. The Beermen weren’t able to stop their opponents from putting points on the scoreboard for the rest of the game, but their strong play on offense enabled them to stay comfortably in the lead until the final buzzer.
Wayne Chism led Rain or Shine with 50 points, tying NLEX import Al Thornton for most points scored by an import this conference. Paul Lee put up 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists.
The game turned chippy late, when Reid and his former head coach Yeng Guiao got involved in a verbal altercation that led to technical fouls being assessed to both guys, as well ROS assistant coach Caloy Garcia.
A few plays later, Reid and Guiao argued again during an inbound play, followed by the Elasto Painters head coach throwing a slight forearm at his former player that yielded an ejection.
“I’m just trying to win games. Basketball is never personal for me,” Reid said after the game.
“I don’t think it’s nothing personal… I know he likes to talk and it’s not a problem,” he added.
“I’m trying to win, I’m trying to have that edge. That’s how I’m built.”