Arwind Santos stays grounded as Finals-bound SMB shifts into high gear for historic four-peat bid
Arwind Santos keeps his eyes on Finals-bound SMB's historic prize: 'Naniniwala kami yung team namin hindi lang four-peat ang kayang kunin nito,' Jerome Ascano

SAN Miguel Beer may be soaring right now, but Arwind Santos is reminding himself and his teammates to stay grounded as they once again step on the biggest stage in the PBA’s most prestigious competition.

The Beermen are in Cloud 9 after eliminating Ginebra, 100-94, on Saturday night to close out their best-of-seven semifinal series in just five games and advance to the Philippine Cup Finals for the fourth straight time.

But Santos is hoping that the Beermen keep their focus as they shift their historic bid for a fourth straight all-Filipino title into highest gear.

“Syempre thank you kay God at sa mga fans ng San Miguel, at sa mga teammates ko -- hanggang sa dulo hindi kami bumitaw, pero kailangan na namin kalimutan yun,” Santos said. “Kailangan na namin alagaan yung sarili namin, at sana 'wag namin ilagay sa ulo namin yung mga success na dumating sa'min.

“Kailangan i-share lang namin at lagi lang naming tatandaan na patuloy lang dapat na nakasayad sa lupa ang aming mga paa,” he added.

Santos continued to be a steady presence as scattered 11 points, 13 caroms, four assists, four steals, and three blocks in the close-out game against the Gin Kings.

And the former league MVP looks to continue to deliver an all-around game in the Finals, insisting they remain as motivated as in their last three all-Filipino championship runs.  

“Syempre kahit papano, ‘di natin pwede i-compare yung three-peat, kung paano namin nakuha yun, pero hindi namin nakalimutan yun,” Santos said. “Pwede naming gamitin yung time na nakuha namin yung three-peat para makuha 'tong four-peat na 'to.”

“Sa amin ito yung goal namin, dahil hindi natin masabi kung hanggang kailan lang ang playing years ng isang player. Kami yung may chance na makagawa ng history, bakit hindi namin pagpursigihan at pagtrabahuhan ng sama-sama dahil naniniwala kami yung team namin hindi lang four-peat ang kayang kunin nito, malay natin kapag nakuha namin 'to, nandun na tayo sa five-peat.”

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“Kasi may darating pa kaming isang player -- alam niyo na kung sino yun -- na makakatulong din sa'min,” he continued, referring to top pick Christian Standhardinger.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos