- A minor argument between AZ Reid and Coach Leo Austria transpired as Reid was taken out early in the fourth quarter
- Coach Leo explained that since they had the lead, he felt it was strategic to give Reid a 2-minute rest
- The San Miguel Beermen looks is off to a good start winning 124-113 in its campaign to defend its title
A heated argument took place between star import AZ Reid and San Miguel Beer head coach Leo Austria in the match between the Pheonix Fuel Masters on Sunday, July 17.
Many overheard Reid repeatedly exclaiming why he was taken out of the game when David Semerad was called in to substitute him early in the fourth quarter while the Beermen's lead was merely two points.
According to Austria, the early substitution was a strategy to preserve the stamina of their star player so he can ignite during the later part of the fourth quarter.
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“AZ is very competitive kasi and he wanted to make sure,” coach Austria explained.
"Pero I also wanted him to have some two minutes’ rest. Napaaga lang. Since lamang naman kami,” he added.
(But I also wanted him to have some two minutes rest. Maybe it was too early. But since we had the lead, I thought it was a good opportunity for him to rest.)
The defending champions had little trouble getting a 124-113 win against the Fuel Masters, giving them the good start they wanted in the PBA Governors Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
AZ Reid was able to make 41 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and his teammates contributed well despite the manpower problems the Beermen is currently experiencing.
Coach Austria said that this game was very important for them as it would determine the pace of their title-driven campaign.
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“We cannot relax, more so now that every team is very competitive. We want to get a lot of wins from the start and gain inclusion among the top eight (advancing to the quarterfinals),” Austria added
Cebu Big Man June Mar Fajardo, despite battling fever, was able to score 21 points and grab 11 rebounds, while Alex Cabagnot and Marcio Lassiter chipped in with 20 and 12 points, respectively.
Of course, the win was hugely owed to Reid, the two-time Best import awardee who played his fiercest during the second half of the game.
Despite not taking in more import this year, the San Miguel Beermen is confident to win the title again this season.
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