Unfazed by Fajardo, Beermen, Johnson leads Painters to ‘statement win’
ANTIPOLO — The last time Reggie Johnson faced Christian Standhardinger, the Fil-German dropped 40 points against him in Bangkok when they were still playing in the ASEAN Basketball League.
But for the hefty Rain or Shine reinforcement, revenge was the least of his worries.
“I don’t look at it as redemption,” Johnson said after the Elasto Painters’ 123-119 overtime victory over the famed Beermen.
“This is a whole new league, a whole new season, a whole new team. I know San Miguel is the favorite team, the favorite to win it, but I don’t care. I ain’t laying down for nobody.”
Johnson posted 27 points, 19 rebounds, four assists, and two blocks to lead Rain or Shine as it takes solo leadership early in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The 28-year-old Johnson, though, feels it was a “statement game” for the Elasto Painters as they toppled the defending champions featuring their bluechip rookie Standhardinger and reigning four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo.
“As soon as I arrived here, my first question was about June Mar. I didn’t know who June Mar was until their first game,” Johnson admitted. “But I’m a competitor. I’m not gonna be afraid of him cause of his name.”
Johnson did give props to Fajardo.
“It was a fun game. He’s a good player. He played hard and it was exciting to get the win.”
But his main focus remains on Rain or Shine as he aims to sustain his flow with his team as it turns its attention to GlobalPort next Sunday.
“We gotta continue to play well and clear some things on our end to continue to be great,” he said.
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