Santos admits SMB got complacent vs depleted Aces
Arwind Santos didn’t hide his disappointment with the way San Miguel has been playing this 2017 PBA Philippine Cup.
Seemingly losing their dominance, the Beermen looked so vulnerable on Saturday when they needed to gut out a close 93-88 victory over an undermanned Alaska crew for their second win in three games.
“Parang lumaban ka na pilay ang kalaban mo. Pag inunahan ka ng pilay, nakakahiya,” he said.
(It’s like you fought against a crippled person. If he got ahead of you, it’s embarrassing.)
The 2013 PBA Most Valuable Player wasn’t shy in admitting that overconfidence may have gotten the better of the two-time defending champs as San Miguel had to exhaust all means just to down an Aces squad, which missed seven of its key players.
“Dahil alam mong kulang at wala yung key players nila, nakakampante kami at iniisip mo na kaya mo agad talunin. Minsan masama yun at nate-take advantage agad. Akala mo bibigay, pero ang mga players nila, ang ganda ng nilalaro, nag-step up, dumikit, muntik pa manalo. Pressure pa sa amin yun kasi nakakahiya na di sila kumpleto,” he said.
(Because you know they’re undermanned and missing a lot of their key players, we tend to be complacent and think that we can beat them easily. You think that they will easily fold, but they played well, stepped up, got close, and even came out with the win. It should be a pressure to us because we know that they aren’t complete.)
The Beermen fought back from a 15-point deficit and needed crucial stops in the endgame to eke out the win.
Santos said the result of the first three games has been far from what San Miguel desired when it prepared for its title-retention bid. But the Beermen know that it’s up to the players themselves to rectify their miscues and rekindle their old deadly form.
“Kung titingnan mo, kahit nanalo kami ng dalawa, parang medyo hirap at lagi na lang alanganin kahit pwede naman namin ipakita na kaya manalo ng San Miguel mula sa simula pero di namin magawa,” he said.
“Siguro di pa namin nakukuha yung dating San Miguel. Kami lang din ang paraan para mahanap yun. Kailangan ayusin namin dahil bawat game, importante na manalo kami. Lahat ng team malakas at kumpleto na. Di kami dapat makampante, gawan na namin ng paraan ang mga bagay na dapat namin iimprove para maibalik namin yung dating San Miguel na kahit na sino, pwede gumawa.”
(If you’d look at it, although we won two games, we looked like we’re struggling even though we know we can win from the start, and we can’t do it. Maybe we still haven’t gotten the old San Miguel back. It’s just us who can find a way to fix those. We need to because it’s important for us to win every game. Every team has become stronger and are now complete. We can’t be complacent, and we need to address those things that we need to improve so that we can bring back the old San Miguel where anyone can contribute.)
Though still regarded as the favorites, Santos said San Miguel should act like one and prove that it truly is the team-to-beat this conference.
“Kailangang ipakita namin na ganoon nga. Alam namin na kami ang pinaghahandaan nila, kaya kami din dapat paghandaan ang mga kalaban namin (We need to show that it really is the case. We know that the teams are preparing for us, so we have to also prepare for our opponents.),” he said.
Despite his concerns, Santos still expressed confidence that his team will have the capability to break out of this sluggishness.
“Parang ang layo pa, pero mapagaaralan naman yan na maging team ulit. Tulong-tulong lang at mapaguusapan pa naman namin kung ano yung mga kulang,” he said.
(It may be still far, but we know that we can learn to be a team again. We’ll help each other and talk what still needs to be improved on.)
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