IT was just a simple team dinner on the eve of a crucial PBA Commissioner’s Cup game
But Arwind Santos felt it made a difference in San Miguel’s 102-91 conquest of Barako Bull Tuesday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Playing with a sense of urgency, the Beermen turned back the gallant stand of the Energy to revive their playoff hopes in the mid-season tournament.
“Iyun (team dinner) ang sikreto ng isang team, kasi kapag masaya ka, kahit kulang kulang, puwede ka manalo eh, basta nage-enjoy kayo lahat,” said Santos, who revealed initiating the team’s Monday gathering shortly after the Beermen’s practice.
The dinner came a day after San Miguel lost to defending champion Purefoods in overtime, 113-105
Santos admitted he’s not the vocal type of person, but demonstrated his leadership nonetheless, by organizing activities like the team dinner the Beermen had.
“As a captain (of the team), di ko ako vocal, pero dun ko dinadaan para enjoy lang lahat,” he added.
At 2-6, Santos admitted the Beermen still have a slim chance of making it to the top eight, but they will have to remain focus on their goal as they head to their last three games of the eliminations.
“Focused na lang kami sa dumarating na game, siyempre yung tatlong laro namin, kailangan ma-straight namin, though magandang sign na nanalo kami ngayon,” added Santos, who, despite nursing a leg injury, finished the game with 22 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks.
San Miguel center June Mar Fajardo will likely skip this week’s All-Star festivities after spraining his left ankle in the first quarter of the game against Barako following a rebound battle with import Solomon Alabi.
Santos, Fajardo and veteran playmaker Alex Cabagnot, who is playing with a partially torn right hamstring, have more than a week to recover from their injuries, before returning to action on March 13 against Rain or Shine.