MANILA, Philippines — Arizona Reid returns for another tour of duty with Rain or Shine and hopes to take the Elasto Painters all the way to the PBA Governors’ Cup title this time.
Reid will be playing his third conference for the Painters, who reached the Finals last season only to fall short against Marqus Blakely and the San Mig Coffee Mixers.
Rain or Shine’s only franchise title came, ironically enough, during the tournament that Reid missed when Jamelle Cornley led the Painters to the title also against San Mig and Blakely.
Cornley, incidentally, has had several brushes with the law after electing to stay in the country after his Best Import performance in 2012 and Rain or Shine never considered signing him up again.
Reid has been an effective inside-outside import for the Painters, who added some ceiling with the acquisition of Raymond Almazan, the former NCAA MVP, in the last Draft.
Almazan, even in a tournament that features bigger imports in the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup, has more than held his own in the shaded lane and could come out as a much-improved player for the season-ending conference.
Blakely planed in earlier this week in a bid to lead the Mixers to another title run.
Elijah Millsap is another returning import, signing up again with San Miguel Beer. Millsap had a great tournament last season only to get injured in the semifinals.
Meanwhile, the title series of the Commissioner’s Cup will start Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum and if it reaches a Game 4, the league will hold it at the PhilSports Arena, formerly Ultra, for the first time in years.
The Ultra was the venue of some of the league’s biggest successes in the past, when Robert Jaworski still coached and played for Ginebra San Miguel that commanded throngs to the games every time.
San Mig Coffee advanced to the finals and will face Talk ‘N Text in a best-of-five duel after blowing out Air21 Wednesday night.
The Tropang Texters have not lost in 13 games here and made the Finals with ease.