Struggling Santos comes through for Beermen in Game 4
Arwind Santos has had two PBA Philippine Cup Finals of different proportions.
In last year’s all-Filipino final, the San Miguel Beer forward was the Game 7 hero and Finals MVP, but coming into Game 4 of this season’s championship duel, he has been the bearer of criticisms.
Santos’ first two games saw him commit a total of 12 fouls and shot a combined 6-of-24 from the field. His third game wasn’t even close to an improvement, in fact, it was his worst offensively — going 3-of-17 from the floor with six turnovers.
But just when Santos was about to be counted out and his team on the verge of getting swept, the 2013 MVP showed up.
Santos still shot poorly but he posted his first double-double of the series with 11 points and 12 rebounds that went with three steals and three blocks and was even present in the clutch situation.
“Siguro struggles, natural yun, pag magaling ka dapat marunong kang humawak ng struggle, ng pagkakamali,” Santos said after helping the Beermen beat the Alaska Aces, 110-104, in overtime on Sunday night at Philsports Arena. “Magkakamali ka talaga.”
Down one, 93-92, in the waning seconds of regulation, the Beermen needed a hero and they found one in their captain.
Santos gave his team the lead, 94-93, when he followed up his own miss with only 28 ticks remaining as part of San Miguel’s 14-0 run after trailing by as much as 11 points with 3:30 left in the fourth quarter.
He did miss two free throws with 5.4 seconds to go in regulation and even though the Aces forced OT on Cyrus Baguio’s 3-pointer at the buzzer, the game would’ve seen a different result if it wasn’t for Santos’ basket.
“Kahit wala yung isa naming go-to guy [June Mar Fajardo], di kami takot magkamali, dalawa lang pupuntahan niyan, isang tama isang mali, kahit ilang mali pa yan kung andun mga nagmamahal sa akin, mga kaibigan ko, mga kapamilya ko, masaya ako.”
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