ARWIND Santos was as surprised as everyone else to see San Miguel easily dispatch Barangay Ginebra, 109-82, in Game One of the PBA Philippine Cup finals on Friday.
"Hindi namin in-expect na ganito," said Santos after the lopsided win at the Mall of Asia Arena.
With starters Alex Cabagnot, June Mar Fajardo, Chris Ross, and Santos putting the win away early, the Beermen had the luxury of letting their second- and third-stringers finish the game.
That allowed Santos and Co. to get a much-needed breather in what has already been a long-drawn playoffs - rest which Santos said is vital heading to the trip to Lucena City for Game Two.
"Malaking bagay 'yun kasi bukas ang haba ng biyahe namin, mga four hours yun tapos may practice pa," said the one-time league MVP.
"Dito pumapasok yung professionalism namin, na kung pagod ka, samantalahin na ang pahinga. Yung kalaban puwede kang takbuhan kaya dapat handa ka."
While the win gave them confidence heading into Game Two of the best-of-seven series, Santos said they cannot let this blowout victory get to their heads.
Knowing Ginebra coach Tim Cone, Santos said the Gin Kings will definitely come out stronger in Game Two.
"Para sa amin, hindi pa namin nakikita na may lamang kami sa kanila. Siguro, nakauna lang kami pero hindi namin dapat makalimutan kung paano kami nanalo," he said.
"From start to finish, yun pa rin dapat gawin namin. Respetuhin pa rin namin sila at makipagsabayan sa Game Two."