Santos vows Beermen to whip out ‘bazookas,’ ‘canyons’ for Govs Cup
MANILA, Philippines – After winning all the marbles in the 2015 PBA Philippine Cup, the San Miguel Beermen find themselves humbled and outside of the playoff picture for the Commissioner’s Cup.
Team captain Arwind Santos wants nothing more than for the Beermen to remember the pain of the setback, and come back guns ablaze.
“Dadagdagan namin yung mga weapons namin,” Santos said with conviction. “Kung ngayon medyo kinapos yung mga .45 tsaka granada namin, sa susunod may bazooka kami, may kanyon kami. Dapat ganoon.”
(We will add more weapons. If our .45 caliber guns and grenades did not work, next time we’ll have bazookas and canyons. That’s how it should be.)
San Miguel sputtered through the second conference, never truly getting themselves untracked despite a last-ditch effort to reach the quarters. In their final game of the eliminations against Globalport, they had to win by a daunting 32-point margin to have a shot at the playoffs.
But somewhere between a double-digit deficit in the first half and allowing their foes to shoot 43% total from the field, San Miguel let go of what they could no longer control and settled for a positive 106-94 win to wrap up a dismal conference.
“I’m happy to end this conference on a winning note,” head coach Leo Austria said.
Starting at 0-4 and yielding embarrassing losses to expansion teams still offers nuggets of wisdom for San Miguel and Santos, who plans on striking back with full force armed with all the lessons learned.
“Mapapakita namin itong susunod na conference kung nag-improve kami or nandoon pa rin kami sa mga kamalian namin or hindi kami nagbago,” he said. “Para sa akin, as individual players, kami magsisimula.”
“Kailangan pag balik namin start strong kami, makabawi kahit papaano,” Santos added.
(We can show in the next conference if we truly improved or if we’re still making the same mistakes or if we haven’t changed. For me, as individual players, it should start with us. We need to start strong to bounce back.)
Santos said the team’s goal for the Governors’ Cup is to reach the semifinals, at the very least. Any other championship aspirations will stem from there.
The Beermen will be retaining import Arizona Reid for the season-ending conference and are banking on having already established chemistry and thorough familiarity with him in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“May advantage kasi alam na namin yung isa’t isa. Yung jelling nandoon na,” said Santos, adding that defense is something they will work on during the break.
“I-improve na lang talaga yung defense namin. Yung offense nandoon na e, tingin ko yung defense medyo nawala as individuals.”
(We have the advantage because we already know each other. The jelling is there. We just need to improve on our defense. Our offense is there, I think we lose our defense as individuals.)
The 2015 Governors’ Cup tips off in May, more than a month after the team’s disappointing run. Austria won’t have the Beermen forgetting their learnings in that span of time, with the most important lesson of all coming from a mental standpoint.
San Miguel painfully learned the hard way that championship hangovers must end after the first game back, and that staying on top is a lot more difficult than getting there.
“I hope next conference matatandaan namin nangyari dito (we remember what happened to us here),” Austria said, “that we’ve learned our lesson after winning the championship.” – Rappler.com