SAN Miguel star Arwind Santos said he is unfazed by the boos showered on him by Ginebra fans each time he touched the ball in the PBA Commissioner's Cup Finals.
He in fact has a different take on the boo boys.
“Baliktad lang yung acceptance ko doon. Feeling ko fans sila ng San Miguel, na pag hinahawakan ko yung bola, bilib na bilib sila sa akin. Parang ganoon lang yun,” he said. “Di ko iniintindi na galit na galit sila pag binu-boo nila ako. Feeling ko yung boo nila, automatic for me is, ‘I love you.’”
The 2013 PBA MVP had exactly that attitude in Game 3. Despite being labeled as the barangay’s public enemy No. 1, he remained as deadly as ever for San Miguel in its 132-94 blowout win over Ginebra on Wednesday night.
Santos racked up 11 points, four rebounds, and four steals in 27 minutes of action - a potent complimentary piece to the Beermen’s all-out attack that tied the biggest winning margin in finals history.
It’s easy to see San Miguel falling into complacency after posting back-to-back wins by an average winning margin of 31.5 points, and Santos knows it.
“Isa yun sa mahirap na kalaban,” he admitted.
But at the same time, Santos believes the battle-hardened Beermen aren't going to fall into that trap.
“Ang maganda rito, minsan puputok si Alex (Cabagnot), si Chris Ross, si Renaldo (Balkman) at si June Mar (Fajardo) nandyan din. Nagis-step up din si Christian (Standhardinger) at nandyan pa ako.
"So siguro kung 'yung overconfidence pumasok man sa isang player o dalawa, not bad pa rin kasi may iba pa na pwedeng tumulong at mag-refill ng mga pagkukulang ng mga nawawala sa game,” he said.
The former Far Eastern University star is also prepared for any eventuality in Game Four on Friday.
“Hindi ibig sabihin noon na tinambakan namin sila ng Game 3 na kayang-kaya na namin sila sa Game 4. Kailangan pa rin namin silang paghandaan at kailangan pa rin naming mag-stay at dagdagan yung ginagawa namin,” he said.
“Nakakatulong sa amin na nakikita namin na kaya namin basta gagawin lang namin ng maayos yung mga plays namin at dedepensa lang kami ng maayos. Hindi imposible. Magugulat na lang kami na nakakalayo na kami sa kanila.”
Santos would be happy to do that anew in front of the rowdy Ginebra fans - with a big smile on his face.
“Focused lang ako sa game namin dahil napaka-importante ng conference na ito para sa amin. Kung may naiinis man sa akin, isa lang ang gagawin ko: pray. Yun lang,” he said.