May 26, 2020

SMB goal: 8 PH Cup titles, 8 MVP for June Mar

SAN Miguel is now the owner of five straight PBA Philippine Cup championships.

That's at least more than half of what the team's original goal is.

"Sabi nga namin gusto namin walong All-Filipino (title) talaga," said San Miguel co-captain Arwind Santos. "Nabanggit ko yan. Alam ng teammates ko yan na pilitin natin hangga't magkakasama tayo.".

Santos made the confession in the 2OT podcast of PBA anchors Carlo Pamintuan and Magoo Marjon.

The veteran forward is turning 39 by next month and aware he's nearing the twilight of a remarkable career that saw him won an MVP title in 2013, was a member of the Mythical First Team nine times, a seven-time All-Defensive Team member, and 11-time All-Star.

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Outside the personal accolades, winning more championships for the San Miguel franchise remains his main purpose.

"More championship, yung talaga yung role namin (as players)," he said.

Even in the absence of the Beermen's main weapon in injured center June Mar Fajardo, the team is all primed up to defend its Philippine Cup title in a season that unfortunately, had to be shelved indefinitely following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

Proof of that was San Miguel's rousing 94-78 beating of Magnolia in the first and only game played thus far in the league's 45th season.

"Take naming challenge yung pagkawala ni June Mar in a positive way," said Santos, who had a double-double of 15 points and 15 rebounds, to go with five steals in the Philippine Cup opener last March 8.

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Fajardo watched the game on the sidelines after earlier bagging his sixth MVP title during the Leo Awards proceedings.

That's two to go as far as Santos and the rest of the Beermen's immediate goal for their beloved teammate.

"Maka-walo si June Mar na MVP. Hangga't magkakasama kami, gagawin ko ang lahat ng part ko para suportahan siya sa part na yun at at makuha yung championship," he said.(RG)