MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel rediscovered its winning form. The challenge for the Beermen now is maintaining it.
Arwind Santos found nothing to celebrate even after San Miguel cruised to a 119-107 victory over Alaska in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Friday, June 21.
After all, the Beermen still lag in the team standings at 2-3.
"We just set a goal that we can't lose any of our remaining games. If you look at the standings, we're at the bottom. It doesn't look good on our part, so that's probably why we had a great game," Santos said in Filipino.
"I hope we maintain this until the end. Our goal isn't really to be No. 1 or 2, what we want is to finish within the top 6."
Dropping 3 of its first 4 games to start the conference, San Miguel barely looked like the team that secured a special place in the PBA annals a month ago by clinching a fifth straight Philippine Cup crown.
Santos, though, said the situation is just inevitable.
"Whichever team you put in our position – winning a championship and then already playing weeks after – you can't expect to get the best out of the players," Santos said.
"We're just humans. If machines overheat, what more when it comes to humans?"
But with the Beermen seeking to reclaim the mid-season conference title they won two years ago, Santos said their pride and hunger for victory overshadow the feeling of exhaustion.
"What will be crucial is how us players who are tired push ourselves and bring back the excitement for the game so we can bring back our winning attitude for better results," he said.
"[W]e don't want to get embarrassed. We don't want to hurt the fans who are expecting San Miguel can beat any team only to find out that we lost."
San Miguel looks to even its record when it faces Magnolia at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, June 26. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.