MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel Beer import Arizona Reid admitted it was tough for him to lose the Best Import award to Alaska’s Romeo Travis.
But he maintained that his 37-point, 7-assist Game 2 performance just after Travis was awarded was not exactly a statement game.
“That’s how I play. This is what you get from AZ,” the 29-year old said after the Beermen defeated the Aces, 103-95, and took a 2-0 lead in the 2015 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals Sunday, July 12.
“Congratulations to Travis. It’s tough, real tough,” he added of losing what could have been his third Best Import plum.
“I don’t understand it, but he deserved it. It is what it is.”
The 6-foot-5 forward ended in second place for the Best Import race after he dominated throughout the season-ending conference and averaged 28.24 points, 10.35 rebounds, 5.47 assists and 33% three-point shooting until the semifinals.
Reid wound up with 1023 points for the award, which consists of statistics as well as media, player and PBA votes. Travis, on the other hand, edged Reid with 1060 points despite trailing the statistics by 504-510.
Travis, the do-it-all guy for Alaska, gained the advantage in media votes, 415-287.
“I didn’t think I was going to win it,” Travis admitted after he posted 23 points and 11 rebounds for Alaska on Sunday. Travis normed 24 points, 12.93 rebounds, 3.6 assists, 1.2 blocks and 52.2% field goal shooting until the semifinals.
“I don’t have the best statistics minutes-wise, points-wise, rebounds-wise. I just didn’t think I was going to win it. It was a big shock for me.”
“I want to thank whoever voted for me. I want to thank everybody who had anything to do with it,” Travis added.
The result came as a surprise to many because Travis was not producing big offensive numbers for Alaska the way Reid was for San Miguel. Though with Travis, Alaska found the perfect puzzle piece to fit their system and ended up as the top seed after the eliminations.
Meanwhile Reid, who twice played for Rain or Shine before going on board for San Miguel in the Commissioner’s Cup and this conference, powered the Beermen’s offense as they went on an 8-game winning streak in the eliminations.
Reid did not call it a statement game, nor did he say losing the award motivated his performance.
But as newly minted Best Player June Mar Fajardo trooped to the free throw line for the pair of charities that stretched the Beermen's lead to 5 with 38.1 ticks left, Reid roared in ecstasy. He howled to the dome above him, to the irrepressible crowd, and to his electrified teammates all on their feet by the bench.
He did not say it, but right then, Reid was stripped of any mask he previously had on and simply looked like he was vindicated – at least for one game.
Reid may not have another Best Import trophy to add to his collection, but he is eyeing the biggest and most important hardware of all with his first PBA championship.
“Before the game we know that whether he wins or not, what is important for him is to win a championship,” head coach Leo Austria said.
“Before he won two Best Import awards but he never won a championship. I think a championship is better than an (individual) award.”
“Everybody’s locked in, everybody’s focused,” Reid said of his team. “We have one goal and one goal only, that’s to win the championship.” – Rappler.com