Arwind: Hunger – not experience – will matter most in Game 7
MANILA, Philippines – Whoever wants it more gets it.
That is how Arwind Santos put it bluntly as the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals heads into a winner-take-all match after San Miguel remained alive with a 98-86 win over Magnolia in Game 6 on Sunday, May 12.
The Beermen obviously have more experience than their opponents, having played in 7 of the last 12 championship series and winning 6 titles in the process.
But Santos said experience will not play much of a big role in Game 7 considering the Hotshots have matured throughout the years, capping off their resurgence with the Governors' Cup crown last year.
"Hindi 'yung experience eh, hindi 'yun 'yung pinag-uusapan kasi kung titignan mo, sila rin may experience eh," Santos told reporters after scattering 8 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 blocks in the series-tying win.
(This is not about experience because if you look at it, they also have the experience.)
"'Yung effort ba, kung gaano ka ka-agresibo, 'yun 'yung magdadala ng game eh. Kung sino mas may gusto, siya makakakuha ng Game 7."
(This is about effort and aggressiveness, that will dictate the game. Whoever wants it more gets Game 7.)
Pressure, though, is something San Miguel has to deal with especially since history is on the line as it seeks to become the first team in PBA history to win the All-Filipino title for 5 straight years.
The Beermen were heavily favored in the best-of-seven affair, but a reality they face now is they've not once taken the lead in the series.
"May kaunting pressure lang, pero alam mo ang isang nagdadala sa amin kaya kami kahit papaano nanalo pa rin, 'yung mga kasama ko na naniniwala na kaya namin," said Santos.
(There's a little bit of pressure. But one reason that we're still able to win is the belief of everyone on our team that we can win it all.)
"Pero minsan talaga, ang Magnolia magaling din. 'Di mo dapat sila ibalewala lang."
(But Magnolia is also a good team. We just cannot underestimate them.)
As the conference heads into one final battle, expect Santos and Co. to pull out all the stops.
"Siguro pati 'yung mga ibang weapon na nangangalawang na sa bahay dadalhin na namin 'yan para lang ma-tetano namin kaagad sila at ma-control namin game hanggang matapos," he said.
(I guess we have to bring every weapon we can so we can get ahead of them and control the game from start to finish.)
Game 7 is slated at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, May 15. – Rappler.com