Arwind in tears asks for support after Game 5 flop
MANILA, Philippines – Arwind Santos, the PBA’s newly crowned Most Valuable Player, has not played up to his standards in Games 4 and 5 of the Governors Cup Finals – games that the Petron Blaze Boosters both lost.
In Game 5 against the San Mig Coffee Mixers, Santos scored only two points and played only 18 minutes. He committed a flagrant foul 1 against Joe Devance in the third quarter after getting caught tripping the San Mig forward.
That led Petron coach Gee Abanilla to bench him for much of the second half, only inserting him in the final minutes of the fourth period. The Blaze Boosters lost, 103-114.
After the game, Santos broke down in the Petron locker room.
“Alam kong hindi ako sinisisi ng mga kasama ko, pero tao lang yan, naapektuhan din ako ng game. Siguro kailangan ko ang mga kasama ko,” said Santos, as quoted by PhilStar’s Alder Almo.
“Sana, magtiwala pa rin sila,” he added. “Pilit kong nilalabanan ang emosyon ko. Sana maitago ko ito, para hindi sila mahawa. Sana maayos ko sarili ko, itong nararamdaman ko, para makabawi kami.”
Spin.ph quoted Petron head coach Gee Abanill as saying that the Blaze Boosters “need” Santos to contribute more. Santos had averaged over 12 points and nearly nine rebounds in the eliminations, but is averaging just nine points and two rebounds in the Finals.
“He’s one of the reasons why we reached this far. If he contributes more, it will be good for us,” Abanilla said, adding that he still believes in Santos.
“He (Santos) has been hearing a lot of things on social media, and I assured him the team is backing him up and we believe in him,” said Abanilla. “Other people may have some opinion, but for us, he’s a valuable piece of the team and we need him.”
Santos said he will give his all in Game 6 on Wednesday – a do-or-die game for the top-seeded Blaze Boosters.
“Ako, ayoko na lang magsalita kung ano ang gusto kong ipakita. Aayusin ko pa, siguro kahit sa depensa at rebounds, makatulong ako,” he said.
Even without Santos in the game, Petron was able to cut a double-digit deficit to just six points in the final three minutes, but San Mig’s James Yap hit two big shots to put the game out of reach.