Defending champion San Miguel Beer is confident that veteran import Arizona Reid would be able to lead the Beermen to another title in the Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup that would begin July.
“He [Reid] already arrived just last week and he’s in high spirit practicing with us,” San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria told The Manila Times in a phone interview on Wednesday. “Unlike other teams, we are already late in our preparation because some of our players are still recovering from injuries and others are with Gilas.”
San Miguel Beer players June Mar Fajardo, who just recovered from a minor knee injury, and Marcio Lassiter are now training with the Gilas Pilipinas national team under coach Tab Baldwin. Lassiter is reportedly down with bronchitis.
Gilas Pilipinas is scheduled to fly to Europe next week for a training camp and tune-up games, as part of its preparation for the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament happening July 5 to 10 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
“I’m still confident though that when June Mar and Marcio return to us, we are going to be a stronger team than the last time. We almost made it to the finals last conference but due to some setbacks, we failed. It’s going to be a new day for San Miguel Beer for this third conference,” he added.
The Beermen are now practicing with its available members Ronald Tubid, Arwind Santos, Gary David, Jay Reyes, Gabby Espinas, Chris Lutz, Chris Ross, Brian Huruela, as well as reserve players Bitoy Omolon and Michael Mabulac.
Reid posted an average of 29.5 points, 12.3 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 74 games in his sixth conference since joining Rain or Shine in 2011 before transferring to San Miguel Beer in 2014.
The 6-foot-5 Reid served as San Miguel Beer’s replacement for Tyler Wilkerson during Game 5 of the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals against Rain or Shine but still his presence was not enough to tow the Beermen to another finals appearance.