EXPECT Arwind Santos to drill the big shots when it matters the most for San Miguel.
The 2013 PBA MVP took matters into his own hands in extra time on Sunday, lighting up for eight of his 19 points in the additional five minutes of the much-awaited tussle.
“Yung mga ganoong shots, ready lang ako kasi pina-practice ko naman yun. Open naman ako kaya tinira ko,” said Santos.
The last of his triples definitely took the air out of Ginebra, giving San Miguel a 102-95 lead heading into the last two minutes and two seconds of the game which concluded in a 104-97 win in favor of the Beermen.
And Santos couldn’t be any more relieved.
“God is good na nanalo na kami, at naka-dalawang panalo na kami,” he said as San Miguel hiked its mark to 2-3 this 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup. “Parang ang hirap manalo eh. Nag-overtime pa. Mabuti na lang talaga nalusutan namin ang Ginebra.”
The Beermen’s senses were heightened after they fell 0-3 to start the second conference, which put the powerhouse team’s Grand Slam aspirations in great danger.
Luckily for them, the All-Star break allowed the squad to hit a reboot as they were able to pinpoint their shortcomings and churn out better performances for the remainder of the conference.
“Nagkaroon kami ng team bonding. Nag-usap ang mga players na yung natitirang eight games, kailangang ma-straight na namin hangga’t maaari,” Santos shared.
Phoenix was the first to fall, and then, Ginebra.
Riding the wave of momentum from this back-to-back wins, San Miguel is aching to make it three straight on Wednesday against Columbian.
“Ngayon na sinimulan na namin at naka-dalawa na kami, anim na lang,” said Santos. “Alam naming hindi yun madali, pero magiging madali siya kung magtutulong-tulong kami. Mas lalo naming malalaman kung paano mag-adjust sa loob. Sa rotation, makikita pa ng coaches namin yung mga tamang combination. Magandang preparation ito sa amin para sa sa playoffs.”
But Santos knows better not to get too ahead of himself as he keeps meager expectations at this point.
“Hindi na namin tinitingan kung kaya pa namin maka-top two. Siguro ang goal lang namin, mapunta sa three, four, or five positon. Basta wag lang kami bumagsak sa seven.”