ARWIND Santos admitted San Miguel Beer had added motivation to beat Rain or Shine in their PBA Governors’ Cup matchup on Saturday night.
The Beermen frustrated the Elasto Painters, 82-75, a measure of vengeance after the latter beat them in their best-of-five semifinal series in the Commissioner’s Cup, 3-1, a loss that denied the Beermen of reaching the finals for the third straight conference and fourth over the last five tournaments. More importantly, it derailed SMB’s bid for a Grand Slam conquest.
“Oo naman, hindi nawawala sa players yun (gusto maka-ganti),” Santos admitted. “Minsan para kaming mga bata na gantihan, resbakan lang.”
Santos spearheaded the payback as he registered 20 points and missed a double-double by rebound, on top of four blocks and one assist in 34 minutes in his best game this conference since undergoing a minor knee surgery during the offseason.
“Ever since naman naglalaro ako ng basketball, gusto ko makakacontribute ako sa team,” the former league MVP said. “Alam rin naman ng coaches na may kakahayan akong mag-ambag.”
Santos stepped up in the absence of virus-stricken Alex Cabagnot and with import Mike Singletary also under the weather.
“’Di pa nga healthy pero tingnan mo nanalo pa rin kami,” Santos beamed. “Pano kung healthy pa at maganda nilalaro namin?”
“Pero di ko sinasabing perfect na kami,” he was quick to add as his team clinched a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals after improving to a 7-3 win-loss card.. “Ang dami pang pagkukulang, ang dami pang kailangan iimprove lalo na sa depensa.”