ARWIND Santos insisted that his lack of aggression in Game One of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals against Alaska on Sunday was a result of his desire to keep setting up his in-form teammates.
Expected to shoulder most of the offensive load in the absence of June Mar Fajardo, Santos was instead held to a conference-low four points after making just two of his 11 shots for a woeful 18 percent from the field.
“Pero kaya ganun, gusto namin maging balance kasi binibigyan namin ng kumpiyansa yung ibang players namin like sila Yancy, Gabby at nakuha naman,” the SMB star explained. “Siguro konting adjustment na lang.”
As a result, De Ocampo scattered 18 points, his highest output in three seasons, while Espinas added 11 points in 19 minutes.
“Maganda kasi yung laro ng iba eh, so syempre hindi naman ako yung may taong may maganda na yung nilalaro tapos aagawan ko pa ng eksena,” Santos stressed. “Nakita ko maganda nilalaro nila, so nagpursigi ako sa defense.”
The two-time Defensive Player of the Year hauled down five boards and registered two steals, one block, and one assist in 33 minutes, before fouling out with over three minutes left.
“Nakakainis dahil nag-graduate ako, pero kahit nga wala ako, kaya pa manalo kanina eh,” Santos said. “Konti na lang eh. Six minutes, lamang pa kami. Akala ko nga mananalo na kami eh. pero ganun talaga. At least Game One pa lang.”
Santos rued some fouls called on him.
“Ang nipis nung tawag,” the SMB star said. “Nag-graduate ako ng ganun-ganun na lang, samantalang ginagawa ko rin naman siya mula elims. Ewan ko bakit ngayon tinawagan.”