WHAT a difference a few days can make.
From nearly making history – of getting swept - to having a shot at another, this time for the right reason, San Miguel Beer’s transformation came just less than a week apart as the Beermen extended their PBA Philippine Cup Finals series against Alaska to a Game Six on Friday.
That was also how quick their mindset has changed.
SMB star Arwind Santos admitted they reached a point where they would’ve been contented with just avoiding a sweep.
“Sinabi ko sa mga kasama na wag lang kami magpa-sweep. Sabi ko na makaisa lang tayo, okay na tayo matalo. Kuntento na sana kami,” Santos revealed after practice on Thursday. “Hindi namin akalain na makakakuha pa kami ng isa.”
Now, the Beermen have the belief they can pull off the improbable after frustrating the Aces anew in Game Five, 86-73, in overtime to cut the deficit to 3-2.
“Ngayon, nararamdaman namin na konti na lang, pwede pa pala kaming mag-champion,” Santos said. “Kaya nakikita ko na mas ginaganahan na ang bawat isa dahil nothing to lose na kami eh.”
“Laro lang kami na ine-enjoy namin, pero yung tiwala sa bawat isa nandun pa rin,” the SMB skipper added.
Santos, turning profound, likened the Beermen to being thieves, who have been stealing from the Aces’ backyard.
“Sila kasi ngayon, pino-protektahan nila yung bakuran nila na may tatlong puno na ang tatamis ng bunga,” the Pampanga native said of the Aces. “Nung una, pinatikim kami ng bunga at ang tamis pala. Ngayon, ninakawan namin sila ulit ng pangalawa. At parang gusto na namin maging paborito yung bunga nila.”
“Kami, nagnanakaw kami at susubukan ulit namin magnakaw ng isang panalo,” he added on the eve of Game Six when the Beermen try to force a deciding match.
Santos believes the Beermen have piled enough pressure on the Aces for them to be wary.
“Nasa kanila ang pressure,” the former MVP stressed. “Bigo yung t-shirt nila na ‘4-0 sweep’ daw eh. Para sa akin, wag mo pangunahan ang panahon. Diyos lang ang pwedeng makapag-dikta niyan.”
“At kung kanino ibibigay ng Diyos, thankful kami,” he added. “Kung sa kanila (Alaska), thankful pa rin.”
But who said they’re back to being content?
“Kaya pa naming abutin yung history,” Santos beamed. “Sana pangalagaan namin yung gana namin at wag dumating sa point na maging overconfident kami.”