FOR Arwind Santos, it’s tit for tat.
In as much as Tim Cone dreaded the thought of facing powerhouse San Miguel early in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs, Santos admitted he, too, isn't hot on the idea of facing Barangay Ginebra in the opening round of the quarterfinals.
“Kami rin ayaw din namin silang makaharap, e. Balance lang,” said a smiling Santos moments after the Beermen posted a runaway 128-108 victory over Phoenix at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.
Shortly after Ginebra routed longtime rival Magnolia, 102-81, last weekend, Cone said he isn't keen on an early quarterfinal match-up with the Beermen.
“We respect all the teams, but we really don’t want to play San Miguel in a quarterfinal match-up,” said Cone. “No one wants to play San Miguel in the quarters.”
Following San Miguel’s second straight win that improved its record to 4-5 overall, the Beermen now sit at No. 7 in the standings. Ginebra on the other hand, is running fourth with a 6-4 record, meaning the two popular ballclubs won’t be crossing paths if the playoffs begins today.
Still, there remains the possibility the Beermen and the Kings might end up battling each other in a best-of-three quarterfinal series depending on how the two teams play out their remaining games in the eliminations.
The 38-year-old Santos hopes San Miguel gets to meet Barangay Ginebra deep into the playoffs instead.
“Hangga’t maaari, kung maghaharap kami sana sa finals na,” he said.
But that’s getting too far ahead.
Santos said the Beermen have deep respect for all the teams in the league, while adding San Miguel still has a lot of work to do before it starts thinking about the likely scenarios facing the Beermen in the playoffs.
“Hindi namin iniisip na kayang-kaya namin yung makakalaban namin. Nire-respeto naman namin lahat. Kaya kami kailangan pa rin naming maghanda talaga,” said the 2013 MVP.