THE PBA Philippine Cup Finals is down to one game, and there are no ifs and buts about it as far as San Miguel Beer star Arwind Santos is concerned.
“Kailangan talaga ibigay ko na ang best ko,” said the former league MVP. “Pero kung ako tatanungin, mas gusto ko na kaming lahat maganda ang ilalaro para maipakita na buong-buo ang team.”
Constantly criticized by fans for a seeming lack of killer’s instinct, Santos agreed that the Beermen's fate largely depends on how well - or how bad - he plays during games.
That's the reason he vowed to lead from the front come Game Seven against Alaska at the Araneta Coliseum.
“As a captain, as a leader, I must do my part. Yung responsibildad na 'yun, kusa na binigay 'yun, kaya kailangan kong tanggapin. At bilang leader, kailangang malakas ako at nakakatulong ako sa team,” said the pride of Lubao, Pampanga.
To best prepare for what is expected to be another physical and intense match, Santos’ wife Ivette bared how her husband stayed mostly at home the last two days to his conserve energy.
“Oo naman. Nararamdaman ko rin 'yun (role ko sa team), pero lagi ko naman sinasabi na mas maganda (ang tsansa namin manalo) kung kaming lahat (nagtutulong-tulong,” Santos said.
Alaska assistant coach Louie Alas agreed that Santos is the motor that keeps SMB going.
“Iba kasi yung role ng Santos sa San Miguel. If you allow him to wax hot, he can dominate you sa ilalim. The guy can also hurt you with his three pointers. Kaya isa talaga siya sa focus ng defense namin,” said Alas.