FOR Arwind Santos, the early struggles of San Miguel was exactly what the team needed in its pursuit of another PBA championship.
The Beermen are in the finals for the fourth time in the last five conferences, but this one was the least expected after the team got off to a 0-3 (win-loss) start the Commissioner's Cup and finished the eliminations as the sixth seed.
That turned out to be a perfect wake-up call for the team, said Santos.
“Siguro, maganda rin dumadaan ‘yung San Miguel sa ganitong sitwasyon,” said Santos. “Hindi puro lagi kami sa top. Lahat naman ng teams, pinaghahandaan kami. Lahat ng team, nag-iimprove at nagpapalakas. Siyempre, hindi mo masabi na lahat naman ng team, may kakayahan kami talunin.”
“Ang maganda nito, kahit nandoon kami sa baba, kaya naming bumalik sa top. ‘Yun ang importante. ‘Yun ‘yung championship attitude talaga. Doesn’t matter kung ano position ka, ang importante, kapag ginusto namin, nakukuha namin,” said Santos.
After the Beermen’s sweep of TNT in the quarterfinals, San Miguel took a 2-0 lead over Alaska in the semifinals but needed another game after suffering a 21-point loss to the Aces in Game Three.
“Minsan, hindi namin maiwasan magkaroon ng bad attitude, mag-relax, hindi natin maiwasan ‘yun eh kasi tao lang kami. Minsan nasosobrang mangha kami sa nangyayari, tingin mo lahat, nasa 'yo na. Minsan nakakalimot kami. Ang maganda dito, kapag nakakalimot kami, natatalo kami, alam namin kung papaano ayusin uli,” said Santos.
As the Beermen prepare to meet sister team Ginebra in the best-of-seven finals, the former MVP said that adversity will only serve to toughen the team.
“Ngayon, naayos namin. Sana dere-derecho na. Hindi naman madali ‘yung goal namin na grand slam eh. Kahit papaano, mabigat makakalaban namin sa finals,” said Santos.