No sugarcoating for Arwind Santos this time as SMB let a golden opportunity slip away
Arwind Santos and the rest of the Beermen are lowering their goals in the eliminations after suffering another loss. Marlo Cueto

ARWIND Santos wouldn’t sugarcoat it this time: San Miguel’s Grand Slam aspiration is in peril.

“At 3-4, hindi masyadong nakakatuwa yung sitwasyon namin,” the eloquent cager said after the Beermen fell to their fourth defeat in seven outings in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Coming into the second conference with great goals in mind, San Miguel never expected itself to be to struggle, especially with Renaldo Balkman coming back in the fold and Christian Standhardinger finally joining the team.

And for some fans, it’s easy to blame those to the team’s infamous curse in the Commissioner’s Cup, a run of futility that the Beermen were only able to hurdle last season.

Santos, though, remained hopeful, seeing that only three wins separate the second-place team from the ninth-place squad.

“Ang maganda dito, dikit-dikit lang ang standings,” he said, reiterating the reality that San Miguel probably won’t have a chance to secure one of the top two spots which comes with a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

“Hindi na one or two ang goal namin. Doon na kami sa three, four, five, o six positions. Malaki naman ang chance namin doon," he added.

But the 2013 PBA MVP is frank in telling the Beermen that they won’t make it past the eliminations if they continue to play like they did in their 98-94 loss to GlobalPort on Wednesday, a game where Batang Pier import Malcolm White was ejected with eight minutes and nine seconds still left to play.

“Kung ganito at ganito ang lalaruin namin, baka ‘di pa namin makuha yung goal namin,” he rued. “Kaya rin medyo nahabol nila kami nung dulo at mas maganda ang nilaro nila kasi mas pursigido sila manalo."

"May gustong patunayan kasi wala silang import. Mas challenge sa kanila yun. Ang problema namin, nag-relax kami at bawat isa sa amin bumitaw," he added.

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Like the warriors that they are, Santos believes that this group won’t go down without a fight, as he looks at this GlobalPort defeat as a learning curve for San Miguel in its run to the playoffs.

“Dapat matuto kami sa mga ganitong sitwasyon. Marami na kaming pinagdaanan and I know babalik kami ng mas malakas dahil natalo kami,” he said, with the Beermen looking to avenge this defeat against TNT on Saturday.

“Ang importante, hindi nasisira ang tiwala namin sa isa’t isa kahit anong mangyari.”

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