Arwind Santos never doubted the capability of San Miguel Beer to bounce back even after being down 0-3 in their Smart Bro PBA Philippine Cup title showdown with Alaska.
The Beermen are on the verge of completing the greatest comeback in PBA history after forcing a seventh game following three straight victories, and Santos said that it’s just a matter of making the right decisions to achieve the impossible.
“Sabi ko nga nun, maka-isa lang kami OK na kami. Ngayon nasa pintuan na kami, kakatok na lang kami ng maayos para makapasok,” Santos said after Friday’s 100-89 win at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The Beermen and the Aces dispute the league’s most prestigious crown on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
San Miguel was considered dead after Alaska won the first three games of the series and leading by double digits entering the homestretch of Game 4.
At that time, the Beermen missed the services of June Mar Fajardo, who was recovering from a knee injury he sustained against Rain or Shine in the semifinals.
But SMB came back to life late in Game 4 to eke out a 110-104 overtime win at the Philsports Arena to avoid a sweep.
In Game 5, the Beermen had to deal with another five-minute extension amid Fajardo’s return to prevail, 86-73.
Then came Game 6 when San Miguel needed a big fourth quarter after a tight contest in the first three quarters to tie the series.
“Masaya ‘yung bawat teammates ko. At yun ang nakakatakot, pag nag-eenjoy ang mga players, mahirap na kalaban,” said Santos.
“Nung down kami 0-3, yung hinga namin tama lang. Nung nananalo na kami, nakakahinga na kami ng maluwag. Ngayon komportable na kami. Pero hindi naman namin masasabi na kayang-kaya namin sila.”
“Kailangan lahat pa rin ng kalaban mo, kailangan mo pa ring respetuhin,” added Santos.
As for Fajardo, he said he will be ready for Game 7, adding that the long break will give him enough time to recover since his left knee is not totally 100 percent as he still feels tightness.
“Nothing serious naman yun, normal. Ready ako for Game 7. Last game na yun, siyempre bigay na lahat,” said Fajardo, who wears a knee brace to protect and avoid an aggravation of the injury.
FIRST IN CAGE HISTORY
Three teams in the NBA came close to pull off the trick.
The 1951 New York Knicks fell short against the Rochester Royals in the NBA Finals, the 1994 Denver Nuggets nearly beat the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference semifinals, and the 2003 Portland Trailblazers lost to the Dallas Mavericks.
But the NHL, the top professional ice hockey league in the US and Canada, has seen three teams completing the feat.