ARWIND Santos said San Miguel Beer's shock loss to lowly KIA Motors on Wednesday will keep the Beermen grounded after the euphoria of the team's PBA Philippine Cup championship.
The former league MVP made no effort to deny that the Beermen are still suffering from a championship hangover when they squared off with KIA, which took advantage by pulling off the biggest upset of the season, 88-78.
“Di naman maipag-kakaila na meron talaga (championship hangover)," said Santos, who was named the Finals MVP in the Beermen's seven-game finale against Alaska in the all-Filipino championship.
"Parang pina-halik muna kami sa lupa,” Santos added.
Santos was also quick to shrug off the stunning defeat, saying it is better for such a letdown to happen this early in a tournament that in the playoffs.
“Mas maganda maaga 'yan (loss) nangyari. At least, di sa huli nangyari kasi aminado naman kami na lahat kami, masama ang nilaro,” he said.
The former FEU star made just seven of 23 shots during the game as the Beermen shot just 37 percent from the field overall.
Import Ronald Roberts finished with 18 points and 22 rebounds, but Santos said it is obvious their American reinforcement is still struggling to find his place in San Miguel coach Leo Austria’s system.
“Dalawang araw pa lang siya (Roberts) nage-ensayo. Eh di maipag-kakaila na yung sistema ni coach Leo saka mga plays namin, di pa niya nakukuha kaya medyo magulo pa kami,” said the 33-year-old forward.
San Miguel star center June Mar Fajardo said the Beermen will just have to put the loss behind them and try to work on regaining their team chemistry this conference.
“Kailangan namin maglaro as a team, kasi last conference, maganda ang chemistry namin,” said the reigning league MVP, who finished with 18 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.
“Ngayon, galing kami sa short vacation so medyo sluggish pa kami so kailangan lang namin bumalik sa dati.”
The Beermen will have enough time to lick their wounds and regroup. They won't be seeing action until Sunday, when they face sister team Barangay Ginebra.