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Arwind Santos blames poor defense in semis series vs ROS

Arwind Santos blames their poor defense led to their back-to-back losses in their semis series against Rain or Shine. PBA Images

MANILA, Philippines -- Veteran forward Arwind Santos cited San Miguel Beer’s on-and-off defense as the culprit, which allowed Rain or Shine to take the driver’s seat, 2-1 in their Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals on Saturday following its 111-106 win.

After their miraculous comeback to grab Game One, 109-105, the Beermen suffered back-to-back setbacks against the Elasto Painters in the series.

“Kung susumahin mo lahat, defense talaga ang may problema. Hindi naman dahil sa offense namin (why the Beermen lost two straight in the series),” Santos told Philstar.com, before the team’s Sunday afternoon practice at Reyes gym in Mandaluyong.

The 6-foot-4 San Miguel swingman said the Beermen have no problem executing their offense, especially since they have been successful feeding the ball to June Mar Fajardo, the team’s primary weapon.

“Proven naman sa tatlong games na magka-sunod dahil halos 40 points siya (series average),” said the 34-year-old one-time league MVP.

“Iyung offense namin, nabibigyan namin siya ng bola, pero yung defense lang talaga nabubutas kami. Iyun ang kailangan naming solusyonan.”

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At the end of the 11-game single-round eliminations, San Miguel was second in defense after holding its opponents to just 89.3 points on an average.

But ranged against Rain or Shine, the league’s top offensive team, San Miguel’s defense appeared wanting after allowing coach Yeng Guiao’s squad to average 107 points in the first three games of the series.

Though Rain or Shine has the momentum heading to Game Four, the former Far Eastern University said they will have to find ways how to slow down Rain or Shine’s high-octane offense to prevent falling to a 1-3 deficit.

“Hindi ko na tinitingnan yung haba ng series eh. Pero yung prep na lang talaga namin kasi alam namin kaya namin,” he said.

“Maraming nagsasabi na parang ang nagdidikta pa sa series yung Rain or Shine, pero para sa akin, kailangan mag-isip pa kami ng solusyon sa depensa namin kung sino talaga hahabol at paano ma-execute,” added Santos.

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