SAN Miguel Beer is off to a slow start in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, but Arwind Santos is hoping the Beermen can tear a page from Purefoods' playbook and contend for another championship.
Fresh from their first championship in three years in the Philippine Cup, the Beermen have struggled to get back in fighting form amid a lingering 'hangover,' dropping a shock loss to lowly KIA Motors and another game to sister team Barangay Ginebra.
“Ayoko rin namang matalo, pero ang championship hangover, totoo yun eh. Kasi parang ang bilis lang ng championship, eh laro na agad kami,” Santos told Spin.ph.
But if Santos is looking for inspiration, he need not look far.
The former league MVP said the Beermen need only to look at Purefoods (then carrying the colors of San Mig), which, after winning the Philippine Cup last season, struggled in the Commissioner's Cup eliminations with a 4-5 (win-loss) card and entered the playoffs as the sixth seed.
The Hotshots, however, steamrolled the opposition from there, beating Alaska in the quarterfinals and Air21 in the semifinals before ripping Talk 'N Text in the finals, 3-1, for a third successive PBA title. Tim Cone and Co. went on to rule the Governors Cup to complete the franchise's first-ever grand slam.
"Kami, tinitingnan din namin 'yung San Mig sa ginawa nila para mag-champion at mag-grand slam,” said Santos. “Tingin ko kung kaya nila (Hotshots), kaya din naman namin.”
However, Santos was the first to admit that the road to a second successive title won't be easy, considering the Beermen are still adjusting with import Ronald Roberts.
“Yung Purefoods kasi, alam na nila ang gagawin nila, sa amin lang, bago pa ang import so kailangan talaga naming mag-adjust since ilang araw pa lang naman siya (Roberts) nage-ensayo,” added the 33-year-old forward, who earned his second Finals MVP in the recent all-Filipino finals.