Arwind Santos had a rough two-game stretch to open the Best-of-7 Finals series, experiencing it in a time where he needed it the least.
Santos was bothered by foul trouble for back to back games — both San Miguel losses — and logged only 32 minutes/game, lower than his semi-finals average of over 38 per match.
“Yun lang ang medyo nakakaasar eh. Graduate na naman ako eh. Minsan naiinis na ako sa referee pero hindi ko kontrolado ang mga ganung bagay,” Santos frustratingly said. “Ayokong mag-graduate kasi gusto ko pa makatulong sa team pero wala kaming magagawa kundi mag-adjust.”
The former league MVP also struggled offensively, failing to find rhythm as he shot only 6-for-24 overall in the first two games while averaging a pedestrian 7.0 PPG.
But Santos said he sees positives even after the Beermen fell to a 0-2 hole in the best of 7 series, as the team put up a tough fight even without June Mar Fajardo.
“Ang importante lang wag kami magkaroon ng disappointment o parang mafu-frustrate kami. Kita naman namin ang liliit lang ng bagay kaya kami natalo. At least yung laro namin from Game 1 to Game 2, nag-improve. Wag lang kami hihinto at baka sa susunod, manalo na kami,” he said.
Santos believes the team can still win even without their main big man, but the Beermen have to focus on the little things which sometimes affects the outcome of the game.
“Ako, sa nakikita ko, kayang kaya namin manalo. No doubt. May mga maliliit nabagay lang ulit (natatalo). May mga sayang, maraming mga dumaan sa ganyan, yung three-points sa gilid, yung mga free throws, kung hindi sa amin, hindi talaga sa amin,” Santos added.
For Santos, the important thing right now for the Beermen is to stay positive entering Game 3, while continuing to believe in the capabilities of each other.
“Basta kami naniniwala kami sa isa’t isa at may trust kami. Ang maganda lang dito, ang mga kasama ko hindi pa rin bumibitaw. Naniniwala pa rin kami na kaya.”