by Waylon Galvez
More than the offensive struggles of San Miguel Beer in Game 1 of the PBA Philippine Cup finals series against Magnolia Hotshots Pambansang Manok, veteran forward Arwind Santos said focus should be on improving the team’s defense if they intend to get even in their title sseries at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
While many pointed to the team’s shooting woes in the series opener Wednesday, which resulted to a 99-94 loss against Magnolia, Santos said their porous defense did them in.
“Siguro ako sa depensa, sa ball screen defense (of our team),” said the 6-foot-3 forward Santos, who collected 13 points and 15 rebounds in Game 1. “Yung opensa ng Magnolia dapat ma-check namin.”
“Yung percentage namin given yun sa dami ng scorers naming. Kung ano feel nila (teammates) nire-respeto namin yun,” added Santos, referring to the shot selections of the entire SMB team.
San Miguel converted just 37 percent from the field, or just 32-of-85.
Even with the loss, Santos said it’s in their culture not to blame each other.
Instead, they try to find ways to improve and learn from the mistakes as focus now shifts on Game 2 as they try not to fall 0-2 in the title series – something that is likely with the way Magnolia executed in Game 1.
“Dapat naming mas paghandaan ang Magnolia, may kakayahan sila na talunin kami… pag ganito ng ganito, pwede kaming matalo ng ilang beses. It’s wake up call, kailangang mai-tie namin ang series next game,” said Santos.
“Hindi namin sisisihin ang bawat isa, yun ang team namin, kung sino yung magkamali, mali ng lahat yun. Pag natalo, talo lahat,” added Santos, the league MVP back in 2013.