By JONAS TERRADO
Arwind Santos said the shocking trade that ended his 12 memorable years with the San Miguel Beer is a reminder of the reality each PBA player faces in the industry of professional basketball.
“Nabigla tayo, hindi natin akalain lahat,” Santos said in an interview with CNN Philippines’ Sports Desk that aired Friday, his sadness of being dealt to the NorthPort Batang Pier for Vic Manuel four days earlier seems felt in his voice.
“Pero ganyan ang buhay ng basketbolista. Ganyan ang buhay namin. Hindi namin kontrolado, hindi namin kontrolado ang lahat kaya okay lang yun,” added Santos, who bared telling the same words to his wife Yvette and their children when the trade was made official.
Santos had been told in advance by Beermen management led by team governor Robert Non, team manager Gee Abanilla and coach Leo Austria that a parting of ways was imminent, though he had a glimmer of hope that a deal would fall through.
That slim chance never came, putting an end to one of the greatest eras in the rich history of the SMB franchise.
“Wala akong magawa,” he said. “In fact, di ko sinabi sa asawa ko na alam ko na, na may ganung sitwasyon. Hinintay ko na lang na lumabas. Kung magkakatotoo man, dun na lang malalaman ni Yvette.
“Pero hindi ko pa sinasabi dahil gusto ko pang gumawa ng way sana na makiusap, na sana baka magbago. Pero, yun nga, di namin kontrolado.”
It was with SMB that made Santos a nine-time champion and one of the greatest players in PBA history.
Now he heads to NorthPort where he’s looking forward to joining forces with coach Pido Jarencio.
Santos is also hoping to be the veteran presence the Batang Pier may need to get over the hump, especially with Robert Bolick, Greg Slaughter and rookie Jamie Malonzo coming off productive campaigns in the Philippine Cup.
“Tingin ko alam naman niya kung ano ang aking kakayahan. At ako naman, naniniwala ako na malakas din ang NorthPort dahil muntik na nga kaming talunin niyan ilang beses,” Santos said.
“Yung leadership, sana madala ko rin dun at sana makatulong din ako sa defense and offense.”