Arwind on San Miguel-Phoenix physicality: 'Basta wala lang sakalan'
MANILA, Philippines – Arwind Santos has just one request in the midst of the heated battle between San Miguel and Phoenix in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
The former league MVP poked fun at his own experience when he was choked by import teammate Renaldo Balkman in 2013 as he talked about physicality in the best-of-seven affair.
"Very common naman 'yun at naiintindihan naman pagka marunong ka mag-basketball, naiintindihan naman na may kaunting pisikalan lang, basta wala lang sakalan," he said with a big grin.
(Physicality is common in basketball. When you play basketball, you understand that there are instances of physicality. That's okay as long as nobody chokes someone.)
Kidding aside, Santos acknowledged that physicality is hard to avoid in a highly charged atmosphere, with the Beermen seeking a fifth straight trip to the All-Filipino finals and the Fuel Masters eyeing their first finals appearance.
"Pagka talagang semis na at papuntang finals, pisikalan. Talagang nagkakaroon ng bigayan. Nasa amin nang mga players 'yun kung paano namin iha-handle."
(When it's the semis and heading to the finals, there will always be physicality and cheap shots. It's up to the players how to handle that.)
True enough, San Miguel stayed composed as it clobbered Phoenix in Game 4 with a rousing 114-91 win to gain a commanding 3-1 series lead on Tuesday, April 23.
Unlike the last 3 matches where they played catchup basketball, the Beermen controlled the pace from the get-go this time and buried the Fuel Masters by as much as 30 points.
Santos provided all-around numbers of 16 points, 8 rebounds, and the 2 blocks that moved him to 7th place in the PBA's all-time scoring list with 819 swats.
"Umaabot sa point na 'yun kasi gusto nilang manalo, gusto naming manalo. Kaniya-kaniyang paraan lang 'yan," he said.
(It comes to a point that when we want to win, we want to win. It's all about finding a way to do it.)
"Kaya kami pinapaubaya nalang namin sa mga referee na makita nila 'yung mga sobrang sadya na eh. Minsan kasi out of basketball na eh."
(We just leave it to the referees to see the intentional hits because sometimes, those are already out of basketball.)
With the series expected to get more intense and emotional in Game 5, Santos has a reminder for the rest of the players.
"Kailangan maging magandang halimbawa tayo (We should be a good example)."
San Miguel and Phoenix will tangle again in Game 5 on Thursday, April 25, at the Cuneta Astrodome. – Rappler.com