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With championship, Reid solidifies PBA legacy



It started out as a bet when the San Miguel Beermen were ousted from the PBA Commissioner’s Cup tournament and Arizona Reid vowed his team will not start 0-4 in the next conference [READ: Defiant Reid vows: ‘If we start 0-4 next conference, send me home’]

It turned out, he was not playing games; basketball was his life and he was dead serious about holding on to that promise.

Later, after the Beermen opened the Governors’ Cup losing their first two matches, doubt ensued. Scrunity was across Reid’s name as he faced questions of whether he had what it takes to propel the team to a championship.

But tired of the always the bridesmaid, never the bride storyline, and the neverending negativity, Reid pushed himself even further, and started walking the talk to leave his doubters embarrassed.

“After I got sick and everybody questioned me, I told them don’t worry. If we go 0-4, send me home. I am going to win the championship,” Reid reiterated his vow.

The next thing that happened: the Beermen won 8 straight games, waylaying opposition to clinch one of the top spots in the team standings.

The Beermen lost to Meralco to open the quarterfinals, but it did not make Reid unfazed. Not minding all speculations at all, Reid became more driven and the Beermen went 8-1 after that point, including four straight in the finals where they trounced the Alaska Aces to capture championship no. 21.

“I am thankful for those who believed in me when things got rough. Those first two games [we lost], people saying AZ is not the same AZ. You have no idea what people were saying when we lost last year’s finals,” he shared.

“To be back this year and sweeping the finals, it’s just great. You are thankful just to be a part of this team. I felt I was able to beat the bully and now I can just relax, have fun as a normal person without stress. I am not even worried about basketball right now. I am just worried being with my family and being a father to my kids. I am just thankful. I finally got the monkey off my back.”

Reid’s journey in the PBA came with numerous short-comings. Taking into account all of the failures he’s had in the past, including the most recent setback which was yielding the Best Import Award to Romeo Travis, winning the championship — his ultimate goal — became even more fulfilling.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times With championship, Reid solidifies PBA legacy    “I wanted to win so bad. It’s not a game. This is my life. Basketball is all I know,” he said. “If you see how I aggressive I am, I want to kill you every time I have a chance. And for me to walk off that court tonight being a PBA champion — something I’ve been chasing for four years — it felt like a dream come true. I am very thankful for the opportunity.”

Motivated by losing, Reid knew it was the perfect time to end an elusive chase for the crown. He has won a championship in the past, but he claims winning one in the PBA, accompanied by all the storylines, weighs “so much more.”

“I love it. I came here wanting something, and I got what I came here for. It is bigger than basketball. This weighs so much more because there is so much drama, excitement, stress, and fun in the PBA you go through as an import,” he said.

“You have to get knocked down before you get to the top. I fell for three years. Losing for three years in a row, it is tough to even talk. I am a champion. Every time I look at the games, I look at media, and stuff, [and read about] can AZ win or can he be a good import, I hear a lot of people saying I can’t win, and now, I am a champion. What can you say now? What can I not do? I can win.”

The prolific scorer will always remind PBA followers of how he changes the complexion of each match with his almost unparalleled performance on the floor, and how possesses the ability to change teams’ fortunes almost single-handedly with his basketball prowess.

Reid is still unsure if he is going to return next year, but whether or not he suits up after this point, he already has a legacy to remember for the years to come.