ARWIND Santos has voiced his desire for San Miguel to finally relive its glory days in the PBA.
But he is speaking louder with his actions.
The Beermen star put up his best game yet this season to lead his team to its third straight victory and a share of the Philippine Cup lead after a 103-89 win over Barako Bull on Sunday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Santos had a flawless performance, tallying 27 points on 9-of-10 shooting, including an impressive 5-of-6 clip from three-point range, on top of seven boards, three assists, and one block in 35 minutes.
The former league MVP felt it was just one of those days when he can't seem to do anything wrong.
“Dumarating sa tao ‘yun,” he said after emerging from the dugout following the win. “Hindi ko naman sinasabi na lagi kong ginagawa ‘yun. Pero kung ganun ang nangyari, parang lesson ‘yun na kaya pala naming i-perfect ang laro minsan.”
Being named skipper by coach Leo Austria this All-Filipino conference also helped his confidence, he added.
“Siguro as captain ball, ang tiwala sa akin ng coaches at teammates ko, ang laki eh,” Santos said. “So kaya siguro maganda ang laro ko, dahil isa ako sa magiging push button — pag nakita ka ng teammates mo na nagtatrabaho ka ng maayos, obligado rin sila.
“Ginagawa ko lang ang part ko as captain ball.”
But the 33-year-old cager is letting his actions do the talking.
“Hindi naman ako masyado vocal (as captain). Hindi ko sila masyado sinisita. Pinapakita ko sa effort.”
His actions are saying that the Beermen finally want to live up to their potential after they came off a forgettable 2013-14 season. Even with a powerhouse squad, they never made it past the semifinals in three conferences, including the Commissioner’s Cup where they emerged the second seed, but was eliminated right in the quarterfinals against Cinderella team Air21.
“Kitang-kita na ang gutom (ngayon),” Santos said. “Tsaka may kahihiyan din kami sa mga supporters at management ng San Miguel. Nahihiya ako, kasi syempre ginagawa nila yung lahat, binibigay nila sa amin ang lahat. Pero kami hindi namin maibigay yung karapat-dapat, kahit yung Finals appearance man lang.”
“Ang alam lang namin sobrang lakas ng team namin, pero kulang pa yung jelling namin. Nandun na rin yung parang in-underestimate namin yung kalaban namin kasi alam naming malakas kami. Pero hindi naman namin magawa (na manalo consistently). Puro lampaso kami nung mga ilang conference.”
But Santos has moved on and is eager to reclaim lost glory.
“Hindi ko na dapat isipin kasi maaapektuhan lang ako. Basta yun lang, move on at ngayon na may opportunity na naman kami, sana huwag masayang.”
“Ngayon, malaki chance namin. Lalo na all-Filipino, sana naman makuha na namin.”