RYAN Araña doesn’t mind being at the receiving end of Rain or Shine’s rough plays and mind games, saying he's focused on helping San Miguel Beer in its title defense in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Playing against his former team will still take some time getting used to for the SMB wingman, who spent his first eight years at ROS, yet his eyes are fixed on the prize – the all-Filipino trophy.
“Medyo weird talaga, pero wala eh, trabaho yan eh,” Araña admitted after the a 103-94 win gave the Beermen a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven semifinal series. “Kailangan kong gawin ‘to and kung mayroong sikuhan o pisikalan, normal naman siguro sa basketball yun.”
The veteran guard from Tondo also won’t bat an eyelash if former coach Yeng Guiao tries to get in his head.
“Murahin ako ni coach Yeng, okay lang. Inaantay ko nga eh, pero hindi naman nangyari,” Araña said, drawing chuckles from his interviewers. “(Basta) happy ako na panalo kami.”
Araña played his best game in the series on Wednesday night when he registered eight points on 4-of-5 shooting – after going scoreless in his last three games – on top of five boards and three assists in 20 minutes.
The lefty guard, who scored on the basket that gave SMB its biggest lead at 94-78, said he was happy to lend a hand to Beermen workhorse June Mar Fajardo.
“Naawa din kami kay June Mar eh,” Araña said. “Puro kay June Mar na lang 'yung bola eh, so siguro mas malaki chance namin manalo kung 'yung bench namin tumutulong sa scoring at syempre sa depensa.”
“Sana magtuloy-tuloy na at matapos na namin,” he added.