MANILA, Philippines – Confidence is obviously something Arwind Santos does not lack.
After assuring San Miguel will triumph over Magnolia to level the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup finals, the former MVP made another bold prediction, this time claiming that his side will clinch the pivotal Game 5.
The Beermen have not once led in the best-of-seven championship duel, only tying the series twice as the Hotshots bagged Games 1 and 3.
But Santos believes it's about time San Miguel takes the upper hand after giving Magnolia a sound 114-98 beating in Game 4 on Wednesday, May 8.
"Game 5? Hindi na natin pwede i-tie 'yan. Malamang may lalamang. Malamang kami na 'yun. Sana kami na," the 37-year-old veteran told reporters with a grin.
(Game 5? There will be no more ties. For sure, someone will take the lead. That would probably be us. I hope it would be us.)
"Magpe-pray kami at magtitiwala kami sa bawat isa para makuha namin 'yun. Lahat kami nakikita ko sa dugout, gigil na gigil kami kasi gusto talaga namin makauna, hindi kami makauna. Sana itong Game 5."
(We'll pray and trust in each other so we can get that win. I can see everyone, when we're in the dugout, we are all eager to take the series lead. I hope that happens in Game 5.)
Limited to a series low in points in its 82-86 Game 3 loss, San Miguel rediscovered its offensive firepower with 6 players finishing in twin digits against only 3 from the Magnolia side.
The Beermen also controlled the glass with 7 more rebounds – a far cry after allowing the Hotshots to pull down 25 more boards in Game 3.
"Talagang ginawa namin ang lahat, lalo na si June Mar (Fajardo). Nai-tie namin. Tsaka 'yung rebound, nanalo kami sa rebound ngayon. Maliliit na bagay na pinag-adjust-an namin kaya nanalo kami," Santos said.
(We did everything to win, especially June Mar. We tied the series. We were able to win the rebounding battle. It's because of the small things that we adjusted that we were able to win.)
As the momentum shifts to San Miguel, Santos hopes the wins follow.
"Parang seesaw 'yung nangyayari eh no – sila, kami, sila kami. Magpe-pray ako nang mabuti, kailangan kami na muna tapos sila ulit, tapos kami. Mas maganda siguro 'yun," he said.
(It's a seesaw affair – they win, we win, they win, we win. I will pray that this time, we win first, then they win, then we win again for the championship. That's what I would like to happen.)
Game 5 is on Friday, May 10, at the Araneta Coliseum. – 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.