Former league MVP Arwind Santos expects Ginebra to dispose of Rain or Shine in their own semifinal series
Published 11:16 PM, July 22, 2018
Updated 11:16 PM, July 22, 2018
ON TARGET. Arwind Santos and the San Miguel Beermen are gunning for their 8th PBA championship in the last 11 conferences. Photo from PBA Images
MANILA, Philippines – Arwind Santos is known to speak his mind, and if it were up to him, it would be Barangay Ginebra whom his San Miguel Beermen would face in the best-of-7 finals series of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup title.
Santos, whose Beermen became the first team to advance to the championship round after dispatching Alaska in 4 games of their best-of-5 semis duel, does not see the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters getting past the Gin Kings.
“Tingin ko sila (Ginebra) na, ano, kaya sila na siguro ang paghahandaan namin. ‘Di namin nakikita na tatalunin sila ng Rain or Shine eh,” the former league Most Valuable Player told reporters after the game.
(I think it is already Ginebra, so it is probably them that we will prepare for. We do not see Ginebra getting beaten by Rain or Shine.)
For the San Miguel-Ginebra finals matchup to happen, the Gin Kings, who carry a 2-1 series lead over the Elasto Painters, need to win either Game 4 or 5.
But Rain or Shine has proven that it is no pushover after almost erasing a 25-point deficit in its 72-75 Game 3 loss last Saturday, July 21.
“Ewan ko lang, pero bilog ang bola. ‘Di natin masasabi, pero tingin ko, Ginebra,” Santos added.
(I do not know, but anything can happen. We cannot really say, but I think it will be Ginebra.)
Ginebra or not, Santos believes that the mid-season conference, which saw the Beermen lose their first 3 games and finish the elimination round at 6th place, has prepared them for another crack at the championship.
“Siguro maganda rin itong dumadaan din ang San Miguel sa mga ganitong sitwasyon eh, hindi ‘yung puro lagi kaming andoon sa top. Kasi siyempre lahat naman ng teams, pinaghahandaan kami. Lahat din ng team nag-i-improve, nagpapalakas.”
(I think it is good for San Miguel to undergo these kinds of situations where we are not at the top. All the other teams are preparing for us. And all the teams are improving and bolstering their lineups.)
“Pero ang maganda dito, kahit andoon kami sa baba, kalagitnaan ng standing, kaya naming bumalik sa top. ‘Yun ang importante. ‘Yun ang championship attitude talaga,” Santos said.
“It doesn’t matter kung anong position ka, basta ang importante, gusto natin ‘yun. Pagka ginusto namin, nakukuha namin, ‘yun ang maganda sa team namin.“
(But the good thing is even if we came from the bottom and in the middle of the standings, we know how to return to the top. That is what is important. That is the championship attitude. It doesn’t matter whatever position you are in, the most important thing is if when we want something, we make sure to get it. That is what is great in this team.)
The Beermen are gunning for their 26th title in franchise history and their 8th in the last 11 conferences.
But for the meantime, they will take a well-deserved rest as Ginebra and Rain or Shine lock horns in Game 4 on Monday, July 23, at the Araneta Coliseum.