THIS edition of the PBA Finals is definitely heating up.
While Chris Ross and coach Tim Cone were involved in a word war, Arwind Santos and Kevin Ferrer also got entangled in a commotion late in Game Three of the Philippine Cup title series on Wednesday night when San Miguel broke away with a 99-88 win over Barangay Ginebra.
Santos insisted Ferrer sparked the feud after the Ginebra rookie forward fired 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Gin Kings’ push.
But when the Beermen finally embarked on that backbreaking 12-0 run to turn the game around, that’s when Santos saw the opportunity to engage his Ginebra counterpart in a few tit-for-tat skirmishes with under a minute left in the game, forcing referees to separate them.
“Nag-aasaran lang kami,” the SMB star began. “Nakita ko sa kanya nung fourth quarter, focused siya. Palakpak siya. Ako kumbaga hindi pa makaporma kasi lamang pa sila. Hinihintay ko lang na lumamang kami tapos saka na ako mang aasar. Dapat kasi pag mang-aasar ka, timing timing rin.”
“Eh di na-timing-an ko siya nung huli,” he added. “In fact, sinabihan niya ako na hindi medyo maganda, ‘Kuya, ang tanda-tanda mo na, gumaganyan ka pa.’
“So ang sabi ko, ‘Bakit ilang taon ka na ba? May napatunayan ka na ba?’ Nagkainitan lang kami,” the former league MVP continued of the Ginebra freshman, who turns 24 on March 26. “Pero para sa akin, pikon ka pala. Pag siya inaasar mo, ayaw.”
Santos, who finished with nine points on 4-of-8 shooting, eight boards, and two assists, against only one turnover in 38 minutes, said Ferrer has yet to impress him.
“Hindi naman siya nagpapanalo,” the former Far Eastern University said of the University of Santo Tomas product. “Yung defense namin hindi naman nakatutok sa kanya. Lahat naman sila. Kumbaga sila LA, Japeth, Thompson.
“Pero kailangan mo rin paghandaan,” he added. “Pero para katakutan, para sa akin, hindi.”
One rookie who almost got under his skin is fellow Kapampangan and Alaska star Calvin Abueva, Santos admitted.
“Dumaan naman ako sa rookie, natural naman yun. Kung sa rookies lang ang pag-uusapan, wala ng mas kukulit pa kay Calvin,” Santos said. “Si Calvin na ang pinakamakulit na rookie. ‘Yun nga hindi ako mapikon-pikon, siya (Ferrer) pa?”
Santos and the Beermen had the last laugh as they took a 2-1 lead in the series.
“God is good. Siyempre nanalo kami,” Santos said. “Medyo nagkainitan ng konti. Pero normal yun kasi parehong ayaw matalo. Siyempre nasaktan kami dun sa pagkatalo nung Game Two, at least ngayon umo-okay na kami. Sana magamit namin ‘to pagdating ng Game Four.”