By TITO S. TALAO
Manila, Philippines – No talks of cylinders and principles of verticality this time for Rain or Shine. Just ice-water running down the veins of Best Import Arizona Reid.
Armed with the instruction to attack, Reid buried a huge 3-point shot from top-of-the-key with 6.7 seconds left in overtime to lift Rain or Shine past San Mig Super Coffee, 89-87, last night and square at 1-1 the PBA PLDT Home Telpad Governors’ Cup Finals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game 3 is tomorrow at 5 p.m. after the annual Leo Awards at 3:30 p.m.
“That’s the reason he’s best import,” said RoS coach Yeng Guiao. “He wants the ball at crunch time. He carried us on his shoulders in the semis, and he’s carrying us right now.”
“We didn’t execute well in the end game,” said San Mig coach Tim Cone. “We had our chance. Now it’s all even.”
James Yap, who scored 9 of San Mig’s last 13 points in a Game 1 victory two days ago, accounted for all of the Mixers’ 7 points in the extra period, including a one-dribble 15-foot jumper that gave them an 87-86 lead with 13 seconds to go.
The Elasto Painters, who lost the opener over a disputed no-call in the last play involving Paul Lee and Marc Pingris where the principle of verticality was extensively discussed, called back-to-back timeouts before Reid took matters into his own hands, draining the 3 over Pingris’ outstretched hands, the same ones which drew no whistle in Game 1 against Lee.
Meanwhile, Talk ‘N Text forward Ranidel de Ocampo captured his first Best Player of the Conference award by besting four other candidates, including San Miguel Beer center June Mar Fajardo, in a pre-game ceremony sponsored by Fern-C.
Rain or Shine’s Arizona Reid, on the other hand, won his second Best Import plaque, after the 2011 Governors’ Cup, edging San Mig Super Coffee’s Marqus Blakely, 1,306 points to 1,043.
Reid stood out in stats, media and the PBA, while Blakely topped the players votes.
De Ocampo, runnerup to Tropang Texters teammates Jayson Castro in two previous conferences, compiled a total output of 1,084 from overwhelming votes in the media (541) and the PBA (150).
The sophomore Fajardo came in second with 989 points from dominant statistics (473) and players votes (108) and from second place nod in the media (333) and the PBA (75).
“Sobrang saya kasi first BPC award ko to e,” said De Ocampo, who dedicated the award to his late father, his mother, wife and four kids. “Kahit papano, yung mga hirap natin, tiyaga, nagbunga. Siempre, pag nananalo ka, lalo ka nang magsisipag at magsusumikap.”
De Ocampo joined the 39th season’s previous BPC winners Fajardo (Philippine Cup) and Castro (Commissioner’s Cup) and the Express’ Taulava in the race for Most Valuable Player, with the coveted award to be handed out before Game 3.
Also to be named are the Mythical Selection, Rookie of the Year, Most Improved Player, All-Defensive Team and Sportsmanship Award choice.
Fajardo leads the MVP derby with 37.2 statistical points, followed by Taulava (31.6), Castro (31.2) and De Ocampo (29.9).
RAIN OR SHINE 89 – Reid 29, Chan 14, Lee 12, Norwood 10, Cruz 8, Teng 7, Belga 4, Arana 3, Almazan 2, Tiu 0, Ibanes 0, Rodriguez 0.
SAN MIG SUPER COFFEE 87 – Yap 22, Pingris 17, Blakely 14, Simon 11, Mallari 7, Barroca 6, Sangalang 6, Melton 4, Maliksi 0, Devance 0, Reavis 0.
Quarters: 18-24, 37-37, 66-59, 80-80, 89-87