San Miguel Beermen veteran forward Arwind Santos has been through many different battles. He knows what it’s like to play in a sudden death, win-or-go-home Game 7, with no less than the title on the line.
And with that also comes knowing how to win it.
For Santos, championship experience will not be the name of the game. He reiterated that if that’s the case, the Magnolia Hotshots also have that experience, just like the four-time Philippine Cup champions.
Instead, it will boil down to who wants it more – who has the bigger heart and desire. And Santos assured the Beermen’s hearts will be on full display come the winner-take-all decider of the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
“Hindi yung experience eh. Hindi yun yung pinag-uusapan kasi kung titignan mo, sila rin may experience eh,” said Santos.
“Yung effort ba, kung gaano ka ka-agresibo, yun yung magdadala nung game eh. Kung sino mas may gusto, siya makakakuha ng Game Seven.”
Still, Santos doesn’t expect it to be a walk in the park for the Beermen. The Hotshots will not just roll over and die, as they have shown throughout the rest of this back-and-forth series.
“Ine-expect ko sa Game Seven, talagang pukpukan ‘to. Alam ko ang Magnolia, hindi rin naman sila bibitaw. Magkakaibigan kami sa labas pero dito sa loob sa Game Seven, magkakaaway kami,” added the 2013 PBA Most Valuable Player .
“Ready kami. Pwede umabot sa pisikalan ulit, magka-bigayan ng konti. Game Seven na yan, wala na Game Eight.”
To repel the Hotshots’ challenge of the Hotshots – who aim to deny the Beermen their historic fifth straight All-Pinoy crown – Santos once again draws a fitting quote from his bag of wisdom and poetry.
“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,” said the pride of Pampanga.
In the end, though, when all’s said and done, Santos hopes the Beermen will emerge as victors anew, drowning in the confetti and balloons from the rafters of the Big Dome.
“Mabuti na lang nahinto namin yung pagbagsak ng mga lobo. Pagkatapos nung game nung nanalo na kami, sabi ko para satin dapat yang lobo na yan pag bumagsak.”