REIGNING MVP Arwind Santos said Petron Blaze must be able to match the physicality of a rugged Rain or Shine squad to have a shot at making the finals in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The gangling forward acknowledged the Blaze Booters were outworked, outhustled, and outfought by the Elasto Painters in a 95-103 victory in the opener of their best-of-seven semifinal series at the Mall of Asia Arena.
"Sinabi nga ni coach Gee (Abanilla) sa amin na dapat lumaban tayo saka dumidikdik dapat tayo," Santos told Spin.ph before the team's practice on Tuesday at the Reyes Gym in Mandaluyong.
The former Far Eastern University superstar said they also need to be courageous enough to battle for every possession against Rain or Shine, which streaked to its ninth straight victory on Monday night.
"Para sa akin, kailangan talaga may tapang ka kasi di mo magagawang manalo kung di kami sasabay sa Rain or Shine," added the Petron forward, who finished with 20 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in Game One.
However, the many-time PBA all-Defensive team member is not about to press the panic button after going down 0-1 in the series, but warned the Boosters from falling into a deeper hole ahead of Game Two on Wednesday, also at the MOA Arena.
"Sa tagal-tagal ko na ring paglalaro sa PBA, alam naman nating iba ang level ng paglalaro ng eliminations sa semis," said the Pampanga-born board. "Ang level ng paglalaro dapat mas tumataas kasi alam naman nating nagi-improve ang Rain or Shine."