by Jonas Terrado
Arwind Santos admitted that getting back to its old form has been a tough process for San Miguel Beer (SMB) despite showing glimpses of a potential turnaround in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The Beermen entered last night’s match against the Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok needing a crucial win to improve their 2-3 record that could set up a searing windup to what has been a seesaw campaign.
SMB made its Commissioner’s Cup debut last June 5, three weeks after beating the same Magnolia squad in a hard-fought duel for the Philippine Cup crown that lasted the full seven games.
“Tingin ko kahit sinong team ilagay mo sa posisyon na kaka-champion lang tapos ilang weeks laro na agad, talagang hindi mo mapipiga mga players dahil pagod talaga (I think any team that came a few weeks removed from a championship will have a hard getting the most out of its players because of the fatigue factor.),” Santos said.
San Miguel encountered disappointing setbacks at the start, losing by 33 points to NorthPort followed by a 13-point setback to TNT KaTropa.
The Beermen recovered to crush the import-less Blackwater Elite, 127-106, to barge into the win column but were defeated by defending champion Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, 110-107, in overtime.
Coach Leo Austria’s team recovered from the Ginebra setback last Friday when it beat Alaska, 119-107.
“Ang crucial dito para sa aming mga pagod eh kung papaano namin i-pupush o aalagaan o ibabalik yung excitement sa laro para maibalik namin yung winning attitude namin,” he said.