MANILA, Philippines – It has been a long time since San Miguel faced elimination in a best-of-7 finals affair, but Arwind Santos likes to remind everyone it was the Beermen who mounted the greatest comeback in PBA history.
The Beermen teeter on the brink of losing their first championship series following a perfect 6-of-6 run in the finals of the last 10 conferences as they trail 2-3 in the 2018 Commissioner's Cup finals against Barangay Ginebra.
As San Miguel seeks to force a do-or-die Game 7, Santos is taking the challenge in stride.
After all, the Beermen once faced what was deemed as an insurmountable 0-3 deficit against the Alaska Aces but went on to win the Philippine Cup title in 2016 in what is now dubbed as the "Beeracle."
"'Di pa naman tapos 'di ba? Sabi nga ng bawat isa sa amin, 'yung 0-3 nga naka-survive kami, eto pang isang panalo lang, 'di ba? Pero 'di namin kailangan madaliin," Santos told reporters after their 83-87 Game 5 loss on Sunday, August 5.
(It's not over yet, is it? Like we told each other, if we survived being down 0-3, what more if we need just one win to tie? But we can't rush things.)
It was just a few days ago that the Beermen held a 2-1 series lead until they absorbed 30-point beating in Game 4 and squandered a 5-point lead in the final 3 minutes of their Game 5 defeat.
Like a wounded animal hungry for vengeance, the former league Most Valuable Player is expecting his teammates to strike back.
"Dahil sa nasaktan kami sa talo na 'to, dapat wake-up call sa'min 'to na makabawi kami sa Game 6," he said.
(Because we've been hurt from this loss, this should serve as a wake-up call for us to bounce back in Game 6)
With the Gin Kings looking to prevent the series from going the distance, Santos said San Miguel should put a premium on trusting each other.
"Ang masasabi ko lang siguro kailangan pa rin namin magtiwala sa isa't-isa – mas lalo namin pagtibayan 'yung tiwala sa isa't-isa para 'yun ang maging bread-and-butter namin sa next game."
(All I can say is we should trust each other. We should strengthen our trust in each other so that could be our bread-and-butter next game.)
Game 6 is on Wednesday, August 8, at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com