BATANGAS — After an inconsistent elimination round campaign, Batangas City-Tanduay’s Adi Santos made sure to take his game up a notch in their do-or-die quarterfinals game in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go/MPBL Lakan Season.
With their season on the line, the 6-foot-3 swingman laid it all on the line for his squad.
Santos countered Zamboanga’s offensive attack by crashing the offensive glass and pouring five straight points for the Athletics. That restored an 11-point advantage, 78-67, with 1:46 remaining the game.
Moreover, his hustle paved the way for Genmar Bragais and Jeff Viernes to close out the game, with Batangas taking an 84-75 victory over Zamboanga and forcing a win-or-go-home Game Three on Wednesday in Davao.
“He’s been big for us coming off the bench, energy, rebounding, putbacks… Iba siya, iba. He’s contagious, he’s contagious — offense and defense, he’s contagious,” said Batangas head coach Woody Co right after the win.
Santos, who just posted 6.8 points and 6.1 rebounds in the elimination phase, upped his averages to 11 points and seven rebounds per contest for the Athletics in the playoffs.
“Ayoko pa magpahinga eh. Ayoko pang magbakasyon. Gusto ko pang ma-extend ‘yung series, kaya talagang focus kami sa training, extra hour para sa training,” Santos revealed, as he’s taking the extra time after practice to work on his craft.
“Kailangan na kasi naming magtulong-tulong lahat eh, kasi kung hindi, wala na kami. Maaga kaming magpapahinga, magbabakasyon. Kaya sinunod namin ‘yung game plan ng mga coaches tapos work hard talaga kami.”
As one of the longest-tenured players in the squad, the product of University of the East made it a mission to give back to the City of Batangas, which recently suffered from a major calamity earlier this year.
“Ayaw namin siyempre matalo sa harap ng home crowd namin, saka siyempre galing sa sakuna ‘yung Batangas, kaya kailangan talaga naming manalo. Must-win talaga,” shared Santos.
With the series heading to a do-or-die bout, Santos vows to do everything in his ability to repay his head coach’s trust. But more importantly, he promises to give his home squad its much-deserved championship.
“Thankful ako kay coach Woody kasi binigay niya sa akin yung tiwala niya saka nasama na ako sa rotation, so sana tuloy-tuloy. Hindi ko siya bibiguin,” Santos bared.
Story by Jonash Dannug
Photo by Thel Suliva