ARWIND Santos is reminding his teammates not to get carried away as San Miguel Beer took command of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals following a 111-87 win over Magnolia in Game Three on Easter Sunday.
The Beermen won for the second straight game in runaway fashion to make their 105-103 loss in the series opener seem like a distant memory, moving two wins away from capturing an unprecedented fourth straight all-Filipino title.
But they are not looking that far ahead, instead focusing on the immediate task at hand – getting a win in Game Four on Wednesday.
“One game at a time lang kami, ‘di pa rin kami pwedeng maging overkumpiyansa sa Magnolia,” Santos said. “Alam namin na magpe-prepare pa rin sila kaya may mga aayusin pa rin kami kahit nanalo kami.”
The former MVP was locked in the moment in Game Three, pumping in 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including one triple that gave the Beermen their biggest lead at 101-77 with three minutes and 31 seconds left in the game.
Santos stuffed the stats sheet with six rebounds, five blocks, three steals, and two assists without committing a single turnover in 37 minutes on the court as a starter as he credited their ability to protect a huge lead this time after giving up a double-digit cushion in Game One and almost seeing their sizeable lead in Game Two disappear.
“Yung pinakaiba, napangalagaan namin yung kalamangan namin sa dulo,” the former Far Eastern University star said. “Yun yung isa sa pinaghandaan namin noong mahabang break, na ma-sustain namin yung kalamangan, na mapangalagaan namin na hindi mahahabol ng kalaban.”
And that’s what Santos hopes for the Beermen to sustain – coupled with ample bench support from Brian Heruela and Gabby Espians – in Game Four.
“Start strong lang kami and then finish strong,” Santos said. “Tapos yung tiwala sa isa't isa magiging maganda lalo, basta...kung lahat kami pumuputok tapos yung mga bench namin, like si Gabby, si Brian, malaking bagay yun.”