Santos believes San Miguel can still take the series

February 17, 2017

Losing to TNT KaTropa in game 5 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals, the San Miguel Beermen find themselves in familiar territory as they have their backs against the wall once again heading to game 6.

Despite the odds, San Miguel's Arwind Santos is thankful for still having a chance to defend their crown, for a probable three-peat, even if it means doubling their effort and taking it one game at a time.

"Ngayon medyo sumisikip yung daan para sa goal namin. Pero at least, may puwang pa naman para kami makapasok. Kailangan pa nila ang isa pang panalo at kami isa pang panalo muna para ma-tie yung series," says Santos.

San Miguel has enjoyed their biggest lead of the ballgame at 34-24, before TNT came rallying back, turning the tables on the Beermen with a 50-40 advantage heading to the second half.

The Beermen staged a comeback and was able to trim the lead to just one point midway in the fourth quarter.

But it wasn't enough to surpass the KaTropa.

"Kahit mag-lamang ka ng 20 pwede parin mahabol. Crucial yung game na one point nalang, six minutes ng fourth quarter, yun ang pinaka-crucial talaga, eh. Hindi na kami naka-catch up noon. Yun talaga ang bottom-line, yung defense naming, medyo nagkaroon kami ng lapse doon. Siguro, kailangan naming magawan ng paraan," Santos adds.

Despite being in the brink of elimination in the semifinals, Santos recalls how the Beermen grew by rising from the ashes, making history as the only team to win the championship after going 0-3 in last year's Philippine Cup. He believes that they play better under pressure, and now with their conference on the line.

"Ang maganda rito, kanina natalo kami, down kami at malungkot. Naniniwala parin kami sa isa’t-isa na alam naming bumalik kahit papaano. Hangga’t may pag-asa pa, iba parin yung lumalaban na natatalo. So, lalaban parin kami sa next game namin"

Santos has delivered 18 points and has grabbed six boards in their game 5 loss.

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San Miguel will have a chance to equalize the series in game 6 as they face TNT once again on February 18, Saturday 5pm at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Story by: Ernest Hernandez
Photo credit: Peter Baltazar