THE struggles continued, but Arwind Santos finally came through for San Miguel Beer at crunch time.
The SMB star finished with just 11 points on 5-of-15 shooting for a paltry 33.3 percent from the field, but delivered on both ends to help the Beermen extend the best-of-seven series.
Santos’ offensive woes came to a halt when he scored on a layup that gave SMB a 94-93 lead in the final seconds of regulation, their first since the first half.
“Hindi nawala ang confidence ko – never,” the former league MVP said. “Kahit hindi ako maka-shoot sa twenty attempts ko, hindi mawawala yung confidence ko.”
Santos, though, missed two charities that could’ve given SMB the chance to finish it in regulation, but made up for it on the defensive end in the extra session when he swatted away a shot by Cyrus Baguio that kept Alaska at bay.
“Naka-stop kami at nabawi namin yung turnovers namin,” said Santos, whose team committed just 11 turnovers, 10 less than what the Aces had. “Hanggang sa kahuli-hulihang oras, naibigay namin yung best namin.”
Now the Beermen, still missing June Mar Fajardo, have another chance to drag the series further.
“Napatunayan namin na kahit wala 'yung go-to guy namin na si June Mar, nanalo kami,” Santos said. “Susubukan ulit namin silang nakawan ng panalo.”