ARWIND Santos understands where Phoenix is coming from.
The lanky San Miguel forward said he knows the Fuel Masters' physicality in their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals is just part of the team’s game plan in the hope of pulling an upset against reigning four-time champion San Miguel.
If he was in the place of the Fuel Masters, the former league MVP said he, too, will be physical against the Beermen.
“Kung ako naglalaro sa Phoenix, malamang hindi rin lalayo sa isip ko na ganun din ang gawin ko kung ako ang kalaban ng San Miguel,” said Santos
It’s a tactic, according to Santos, which Phoenix or any team for that matter, will try to apply in order to beat a talent-laiden team like the Beermen.
“Kung titingnan mo yung lineup ng San Miguel para talunin, kailangan mong gumawa ng ibang paraan,” he said. “Isa yun, yung physicality, kaya tingin ko isa yun sa bread and butter ng Phoenix.”
Santos himself was at the receiving end of some physical battles with Calvin Abueva and sophomore Jason Perkins, but managed to stay cool and composed.
But at the end of the day, everything all boiled down to basketball.
Santos did his thing in the series-clinching 105-94 win in Game Five on Thursday night at the Astrodome, coming away with 12 points and 11 rebounds as the Beermen stormed to a fifth straight All-Filipino finals appearance.
Now, San Miguel awaits which between Magnolia and Rain or Shine will be its opponent in the best-of-seven title series which starts on May 1.
Whoever it may, Santos expects another bruising battle just like what the Beermen went through with the Fuel Masters.
“Sabi ko nga hanapbuhay natin itong basketball, lahat tayo may sumusuporta, may mga pamilya, gusto nila nananalo din. E kami pang mga naglalaro, nagpapakapagod, nagsasakripisyo araw-araw, kami rin gusto naming manalo,” he said.
“Pagtapos ng laro, ok lang kami, magkakaibigan,Pero pag basketball, laban kung laban.”