ARWIND Santos doesn’t mind getting cut each game in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals as long as San Miguel Beer ends up champions in the best-of-seven series against Alaska.
After sustaining a cut in the forehead from Aces forward Calvin Abueva in Game Two, the SMB star suffered another cut from the same person — albeit unintentional — this time above his right eyebrow after challenging a layup attempt by Abueva early in the first quarter of Game Three.
But a scratched face is nothing as long as the Beermen emerge victorious, Santos said.
“Hindi baleng may cut ako, basta manalo lang,” he said after the Beermen lost, 78-70, to fall into a 2-1 hole in the series. “Kahit every game, kung apat na panalo tapos apat na cut sa mukha ko, okay lang.”
Santos led the way for the Beermen in Game Three, tallying 20 points, including 11 in the third quarter where SMB established its biggest lead at 21.
But the former league MVP was scoreless in the payoff period, cooling down when the Aces went on a 20-1 run to turn the game around.
During that monumental run, Santos forced some of his three-point attempts to finish with a paltry 3-of-11 clip from beyond the arc.
“Kailangan ko talagang hindi alisin yung tiwala ko sa mga kasama ko,” Santos said. “Para sa akin, ayaw ko na tingnan yung bad side nung nangyayari. Dun ako sa positive side.”
But the pride of Pampanga said the Beermen’s errors did them in.
“Maliban dun sa nagpapasok yung tres nila, 'yung turnover na naman namin sa last quarter sunod-sunod tapos hindi kami naka-convert.”
“Pero hinahambing ko sa see-saw (ang series). Kung sila ngayon nasa taas, kailangan sa susunod kami naman.”