Santos shows he isn't backing down from anyone in Game 2 win
MANILA, Philippines – Following an ugly loss, Arwind Santos made sure no one forgets that the San Miguel Beermen are the reigning 3-time PBA Philippine Cup champions.
Santos was visibly emotional in Game 2 of the best-of-7 All-Filipino finals series as he led the Beermen to a rousing 92-77 win over the Magnolia Hotshots on Sunday, March 25.
The former league Most Valuable Player scattered 24 points, 8 rebounds, and two blocks in the win that tied the series at 1-1 after San Miguel squandered a 20-point lead in its Game 1 loss.
"Siguro pinakita lang namin na hindi dahil naka-3-peat na kami, papayag na lang kami ng ganoon-ganoon na lang," said Santos.
(I guess we just showed that we won't take this lightly just because we've already achieved a 3-peat.)
"Siguro kaya pinakita ko lang na, bilang may-ari ng trono, kahit sino umagaw, magagalit ka," he added.
(I guess I just showed that as the owners of the throne, whenever there is someone who wants to take it, we will get angry.)
Aside from delivering the offensive firepower, Santos also provided the emotional intensity the Beermen needed to avoided another meltdown.
The Hotshots were on the verge of repeating what they did in Game 1 by trimming a once-21-point lead to just 7 midway through the 4th quarter.
But Santos came to San Miguel's rescue, drilling a triple that sparked a game-clinching 17-9 run.
The 36-year-old then let out several huge roars with less than 4 minutes remaining following an emphatic block on Rafi Reavis.
A minute later, Santos figured in a verbal tussle with Jio Jalalon, earning both players technical fouls.
"Pinakita ko lang 'yung dapat kong i-contribute doon. Maliban sa maka-focus sa laro, kailangan ipakita mo rin na hindi ka masisindak ng kahit sino sa loob," said Santos.
(I just showed what I should be contributing. Aside from focusing on the game, I also needed to show that I wouldn't be intimidated by anyone inside the court.)
However, the veteran forward made it clear he is not taking the physicality or the brewing animosity personally.
"Akala nila siguro nakikipag-away na ako, pero 'yun lang ay dahil gusto ko manalo, gusto ko mai-tie. Kasi mahirap na pag na-2-0 kami," added Santos.
(They might think that I wanted to fight but I just really wanted to win, I wanted to tie the series. It would have been hard if they went up 2-0 in the series.)
With the momentum now on their side, Santos and the Beermen are gunning to take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 duel as they meet the Hotshots for Game 3 next Sunday, April 1, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com