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PBA: SMB’s Arwind Santos downplays shouting match with TNT import

TNT’s Terrence Jones attempts a lay-up against the defense of San Miguel’s Arwind Santos in Game 4. PBA Media Bureau

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel forward Arwind Santos made light of the shouting match that he had with TNT import Terrence Jones in the fourth quarter of their finals game on Sunday night.

The Beermen were on top, 90-78, with under seven minutes left when Jones drove hard to the basket and was fouled hard by Santos. The two players got into each other’s faces, with Jones audibly shouting “What?” at the San Miguel veteran.

San Miguel eventually took the win in Game 4, 106-101, to tie the series at two games apiece. 

Santos later shrugged off the incident with Jones, saying they simply exchanged words.

“Ayun, nagsigawan lang, pinaamoy lang niya ‘yung hininga niya sa akin,” said the San Miguel forward. “Amoy Amerikano, amoy burger.”

It was nothing new to Santos, especially given the physical, emotionally charged nature of the finals series. Stare-downs and shoving matches have become commonplace during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals, and Game 4 was no different.

For Santos, he had no intention of backing off against Jones, the Best Import of the Conference.

“Gulatan lang naman kung sino ang masisindak. Part lang ng game ‘yun eh. Kaya lang mas malakas siyang bumuga kaysa sa akin, in fairness,” he said.

Their teammates immediately got between Santos and Jones, and TNT import walked away from the situation. Both players were given technical fouls for taunting.

“Ano rin siya, umiiwas din siya sa mga taunting saka mga tinginan ng mata sa mata. Ayaw din niya eh. Marunong din,” Santos said of Jones.

“Kaya ‘pag may mga ganung scenario, sinasamantala namin, tingnan namin kung sino ‘yung mapipikon,” he added.

Santos and the Beermen are now hoping to build on their triumph come Wednesday, when they face off against TNT in Game 5 of the best-of-7 series. The teams have so far alternated wins and losses in the finals, and Santos said they must break that pattern.

“Kailangan, mabaligtad namin ‘yung scenario. Sana itong Game 5, makuha namin. Sana hindi na namin mabitawan kapag nakalamang kami ng malaking lead, kailangan hindi na namin bibitawan ‘yun,” said Santos, whose team had a 15-point advantage in Game 4 before TNT rallied.

“Pero nandoon pa rin ‘yung sobrang respeto namin sa Talk N Text kasi sobrang malakas din talaga. Hindi sila ganoon kadaling talunin. Kumpleto piyesa nila, ang ganda din ng game plan nila pati depensa nila. Kailangan tapatan namin,” he added.

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