Arwind Santos is grateful to be back in a national uniform. He first played for Chot Reyes back in 2006 and then under Yeng Guiao in the 2009 Fiba Asia championships in Tianjin, China where the Philippines finished eighth place.
Now at 37 years of age, Santos is hoping for a last hurrah in helping the Philippines not only bounce back from a disappointing loss to Kazakhstan, 92-88, last November 30, but also qualifying for the 2019 Fiba World Cup.
“Happy ako nakabalik ako pero hindi naman yung kasama ka lang,” said Santos. “Gusto ko meron din ako ma-contribute.”
“Nung laban sa Kazakhstan, siyempre, gusto ko sana tumulong pero hindi ako naka-line-up, but now, tignan natin. Basta ibibigay ko yung best ko.”
Santos also pointed out the luxury of having his pro teammates in June Mar Fajardo and Marcio Lassiter in uniform against Iran on December 3. “Malaking bagay yung magkakilala kayo kasi alam niyong lahat kung saan nila gusto yung bola at yung mga galaw nila. Advantage yun.”
The reed-thin forward with springs in his feet observed that the game is much faster this time around as compared to his last national stint. “Pabilis ng pabilis yung mga player ngayon,” he noted. “Mas malalaki na meron power, shooting, at mabibilis pa.”
When reminded that he is a two-way player with a penchant for playing sticky defense, Santos smiled and simply said, “Yun lang naman ang dapat di ba? Lahat gagawin mo para manalo – maglaro ka ng depensa. Tignan natin mamayang gabi. Excited din ako.”