After historic run, Arwind says San Miguel era not yet over
MANILA, Philippines – Far from over.
Arwind Santos believes San Miguel has plenty left in the tank after it cemented its PBA legacy with a fifth straight Philippine Cup championship following a hard-fought seven-game finals series against Magnolia.
The Beermen are not getting any younger, with some of their star-studded starting lineup entering the twilights of their career.
Santos is already 37, Alex Cabagnot is 36, Chris Ross is 34, Marcio Lassiter is 32 while June Mar Fajardo is the youngest at 29.
But the former PBA MVP does not see their dynasty coming to an end anytime soon.
"Naniniwala ako na hindi pa tapos 'yung era namin. Para sa akin challenge 'yun, tine-take ko na challenge 'yun na sinasabi nilang tapos na, tumatanda na," Santos said after a thrilling 72-71 Game 7 win on Wednesday, May 15.
(I believe that our era isn't over yet. I'm taking it as a challenge that some are saying that it's over because we're already getting old.)
"Lagi ko sinasabi, 'Teka lang.' Tinitignan ko lahat ng team, wala namang bumabata. Lahat ng dinedependehan nila, mga senior din, mga beterano din."
(If you look at it, all of the teams are getting older. And the teams always depend on their veterans.)
Fact is, Santos said San Miguel has only become more dangerous now that young guns Terrence Romeo and Christian Standhardinger have gotten over the hump with their first PBA title.
"Ngayon sila Terrence, sila Christian, nag-champion, iba ang kumpiyansa ng mga 'yun. Lalo na ngayon, tignan nila ang ii-stop-in nila. Si June Mar ba, si Marcio, si Ross, si Alex?" Santos said.
(Now that Terrence and Christian won a championship, their confidence is at a sky high. Who are they going to stop now? Is it June Mar, Marcio, Ross or Alex?)
"May Christian at Romeo pa kami na mataas ang kumpiyansa. Sinasabi ko nga kanina, 'Oh, wala ng mga sumpa sumpa ngayon, nag-champion ka na. Wala ka nang dapat patunayan'."
(We also have Christian and Romeo who have become more confident. I told them earlier, 'There's no such thing as a curse now that you're a champion. You don't have anyting to prove.')
Securing themselves of a special place in PBA history, Santos said the immense pressure they carried throughout the title series has already been lifted.
And playing without pressure means the Beermen are more relaxed and poised in their quest for more championships.
"Sabi ko kay Ross, next All-Filipino and we're in the Finals, we can shoot anywhere, puwede tayong tumira kahit saan kasi ang iisipin mo nakuha na namin yung five-peat, wala na kaming dapat patunayan," he said.
(I told Ross that if we make the All-Filipino finals next year, we can shoot anywhere because we already completed the five-peat, we don't have anything to prove.)
"Mas mahirap kalaban 'yung no bearing 'yung feeling. Kasi nakuha na namin 'yung five-peat eh. Eh paano kung andoon na kami sa posisyon na 'yun uli, lumaban kami uli sa finals?"
(It's harder to face a team that plays without bearing because we've already completed the five-peat. What would happen if we get ourselves into the same position and play in the finals again?)
"Naniniwala ako sa mga teammates ko na 'di nila ibibigay basta basta ito. Malamang 'pag andoon na naman kami at nag-e-enjoy na naman kami, malamang ididiin na naman namin para sa six-peat."
(If that happens, I believe my teammates will not give up the championship. If we reach the finals again and we're enjoying, we'll most probably go hard for the six-peat.)
How about a rare Grand Slam? Santos does not want to think about it now.
"Minsan kasi minamalas kami sa import na 6'5. 'Di ko pa alam kung sino kukunin namin na import. Kung siguro si (Justin) Brownlee sa amin, puwede ko sabihin sa'min na Grand Slam," he quipped.
(We sometimes get unlucky when it comes to getting 6-foot-5 imports. I still don't know who we're getting. If it's Brownlee who will join us, maybe I can say that we can win the Grand Slam.) – Rappler.com