Santos’ timely rebounds, defense help Beermen win
Defense did it for San Miguel.
Squandering a 10-point lead, 72-62, with 2:25 left in Sunday’s tiff against Barangay Ginebra, it was the Beermen’s defense which helped them secure a 72-70 thriller.
And at the center of that victory was Arwind Santos, who hauled down three crucial rebounds as well as contesting LA Tenorio’s potential game-tying floater in the endgame to stretch San Miguel’s winning streak to six games.
But the 2013 PBA Most Valuable Player said he didn’t expect anything less against a formidable opponent like the Gin Kings.
“In-expect naming hindi ganoon kadaling talunin ng Ginebra (We expected that we’ll have a hard time going up against Ginebra.),” he said.
But Santos said grind out games like this will be beneficial for the Beermen in the long run, preparing them for the tightly-contested games expected in the playoffs.
“Ang laki ng maitutulong nun. Syempre dependent pa rin kami sa bawat isa at sa game plan namin. Yung talent ng team – dependent kami doon kaya nakakuha pa kami ng kalamangan ng konti,” he said.
(This will be a big help. Of course, we’ll rely on ourselves and our game plan. We’re dependent on the talent of our team, which is the reason why we still get those leads in the end.)
Sitting on top of the standings at 7-1, Santos shared that San Miguel still fears the prospects of peaking early in the tournament. But for him, what will spell the difference between their title retention chances and a possible decline will be the team’s collective hunger.
“Bilang captain ball, nandoon yung part ko na iremind yung bawat isa na wag magiging kuntento. Pumapasok yung pagiging relaxed sa isip namin kaya sana di namin madala yun. Kasi, pag kayo ang number one, kailangan mas lalo pa naming dagdagan yung effort namin. Basta wag kaming magsasawang manalo,” he said.
(As the captain ball, there will always be a part of me who will remind my teammates to not be content. We may be relaxing, but I hope we fought through it. When you’re number one, you have to be relentless in our effort. We shouldn’t be satisfied with just winning.)
San Miguel springs back to action on Friday against Rain or Shine.
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