Photo from PBA ImagesTHE PRO120
Arwind's shot to remember: 'Kamay ng Diyos' dagger over Alaska in 2015
by Reynald Magallon, May 22, 2020 8:30pm
San Miguel Beer star Arwind Santos has knocked down quite a number of clutch shots throughout the course of SMB's five-year dominance in the Philippine Cup.
The 2013 league MVP has delivered time and again, every time the Beermen needed him. He never faltered even when the stakes were higher.
He showed those nerves of steel and drained almost all of the biggest shots of the series in every title runs against Magnolia, Ginebra and Alaska in the last five years
But Arwind's favorite? The shot that enabled the Beermen to get their first taste of the throne. That shot he dubbed as 'Kamay ng Diyos' which put the dagger on the Aces in 2015 and ended the franchise's 14 year Philippine Cup title drought.
"'Yung nakashoot ako ng three point nung sa Alaska, 'yun yung pinakamasarap talaga yung una. Ako nag Finals MVP nun," Santos recalled in an interview with PBA commentators Magoo Marjon and Carlo Pamintuan in an episode of the 2OT podcast.
Let's look back.
Game 7 and the title is on the line. Down by two, 78-76 with 1:02 left in the game. SMB's ball.
Santos admitted he was already feeling the fatigue of the gruelling seven games back then. He scored 18 points in the first three quarter but was nowhere to be found in the final frame.
Alex Cabagnot made it past the half-court line and tried to go to June Mar Fajardo inside. With no line of sight, Cabagnot rifled a pass to a waiting Santos at the right-wing.
Santos quickly went up for the shot with his patented high jumping trey, just beyond the three-point line.Over the outstretched arms of Calvin Abueva, Santos drained the shot that put them ahead for good, 79-78 and emerge as the Philippine Cup champions after 14 years.
That shot also signified the start of SMB's historic dominance.
To this day, Santos can still feel that moment when the ball left his hands as if it happened not so long ago.
"Nung time na yun, 'yung tira na iyon, pagod na rin ako. Naalala ko yung unang tira ko, di tumama. 'Yung una kong tira bago iyon eh, lumampas sa ring, board lang ata tinamaan ko nun eh," said Santos.
"Pero yun nga sabi ko kamay na ng Diyos. Sabi ko, mabuti naman, nashoot ko yung isang tira na iyon," he added.
Getting criticized for taking too many outside shots during the series, that long ball ironically made Santos the hero for the Beermen and a nightmare to the Aces.
"Natuwa rin naman ako nung party namin si boss RSA yun talaga yung kinwento niya sa party kung di dahil sa three point ni Arwind, wala na," said Santos.
"Kamay ng diyos talaga yun."
Truly as shot to remember for Arwind.
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