Blakely-Reid duel top sidelight in Governors' Cup title series | Inquirer Sports
Imports showdown seen

Blakely-Reid duel top sidelight in Governors’ Cup title series

By: - Reporter / @MusongINQ
/ 03:08 AM June 30, 2014

ARIZONA Reid: Painters’ scoring machine AUGUST DELA CRUZ

MANILA, Philippines — For all intents and purposes, the PBA Governors’ Cup best-of-five title series is a showdown between imports Marqus Blakely of San Mig Coffee and Arizona Reid of Rain or Shine.

Blakely, playing in the season-ending title series for the third straight year, will be gunning to gift the Mixers with a fourth straight championship and just the league’s fifth Grand Slam sweep. Reid will have his work cut out playing in unchartered territory.


Where the imports go, their respective teams will follow. And with both men coming off down-the-wire Final Four series against stubborn foes, keeping them fresh will be the main concern of coaches Tim Cone of San Mig Coffee and Yeng Guiao of Rain or Shine.


While the Elasto Painters will depend a lot on Reid scoring heavily, Blakely’s main focus will be to limit Reid from taking over offensively, like what he did in Game 5 of the Rain or Shine-Alaska series where the braid-haired import finished with 35 points.

Stopping Blakely, it seems, will not be the responsibility of Reid, who failed miserably in trying to put the cuffs on Alaska’s Henry Walker in their semifinal series.

And to Guiao’s consternation, Blakely is almost of the same built and has the same athleticism as Walker. Point guards Paul Lee and Mark Barroca will most likely cancel each other out, leaving gunners like James Yap and Peter June Simon of San Mig and Jeff Chan and Gabe Norwood of Rain or Shine the stage to make a difference.

Yap has, like in the Finals of the Philippine and Commissioner’s Cups this season, stepped up big time, while Chan struggled in the Alaska series.

MARQUS Blakely: Defensive ace AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Simon and Norwood both got injured at some point in the Final Four and saw sporadic action, even though Simon will come in better shape than Norwood, who played the last two games with obvious pain in his right foot.

Marc Pingris of San Mig and Beau Belga of Rain or Shine will be the X-factors for their respective sides, their roles primarily to fire up their teammates with great defensive plays and a fighting heart. Their scoring will just be bonuses.


Guiao and Cone have split the last two editions of the Governors’ Cup, with the Painters prevailing in 2012 with Jamelle Cornley and Cone taking care of sister squad Petron Blaze, now San Miguel Beer, in seven games last year.

The role players will come in crucial for both squads. This is one aspect where the Painters could have a slight advantage since Guiao normally allows everyone to play every game to give his reserves the exposure they need.

As for Cone, he went back to a nine- and even a 10-man rotation in the latter half of his semifinal playoff with Talk ‘N Text.

Being thrust in the spotlight in a series that has such importance to the San Mig franchise could prove too big to handle for his young players.

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Rookies Ian Sangalang of San Mig and Raymond Almazan of Rain or Shine, the second and third picks in the last Rookie Draft, respectively, will be relied upon heavily and will provide an interesting sidelight to the series.

TAGS: Arizona Reid, Beau Belga, Finals, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Jeff Chan, Marc Pingris, Mark Barroca, Marqus Blakely, Paul Lee, PBA Governors' Cup, PJ Simon, Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, San Mig Coffee Mixers, Tim Cone, Yeng Guiao

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