MANILA, Philippines — The San Miguel Beermen are on a roll in the PBA Philippine Cup, having won six games in a row including a thrilling 72-70 nail-biter over Barangay Ginebra just last Sunday.
They are on track to gain one of the top two spots in the playoffs, which will give them a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals. As it stands, their 7-1 slate is the best in the league, 1.5 games ahead of second-running Rain or Shine.
This is perhaps why veteran forward Arwind Santos is taking great pains to warn his team against complacency and arrogance, especially as the Beermen still have some difficult games ahead.
"Thankful kami na No. 1 kami," Santos said after last Sunday's victory. "Pero nakakatakot din.
"Bilang captain ball, siguro andoon 'yung part ko na i-remind 'yung bawat isa. Kasi minsan, nagiging kuntento. Pumapasok 'yung pagiging relaxed. Sana, 'di namin madala 'yun."
(Being No.1 can be scary. As the team captain, I guess there's a part of me that wants to remind everyone, sometimes players feel contented. They relax. Hopefully, we don't fall into that trap.)
Instead, the Beermen need to double their effort in order to keep their place in the league standings, Santos said.
Moreover, they cannot take their success for granted.
"Sobrang ganda ng blessing na dumarating sa team, kaya minsan, 'yung problema ng sobrang success ay 'yung lumalaki 'yung ulo," Santos said.
"Kailangan, manatiling humble, para at least, walang misunderstanding. Kasi pag nagkaroon ng samaan ng loob, nasisira 'yung team."
(We've had these blessings coming our way and it's all good. But success sometimes can get into people's heads. We need to be humble so there's no misunderstanding. If there's resentment within the team, that's not good for us.)
Though they are already sure to advance to the quarterfinals, San Miguel still has to face Rain or Shine, GlobalPort, and TNT KaTropa to wrap up the elimination round.
"Kailangan mas lalo pa naming dagdagan 'yung effort namin, 'yung skills namin," Santos stressed. "Basta, 'wag kaming magsasawang manalo."
(We need to double our efforts, our skills. We can't get sick and tired of winning.)
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