MABALACAT, Pampanga—It didn’t take long for Arwind Santos to feel comfortable and settled with his new team Pampanga in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League.
“I’m taking a break now in the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association and wanted to help my father figure (Governor Delta Pineda) in Pampanga,” Santos told DAILY TRIBUNE.
“I could see that he’s really determined to win the championship.”
Santos saw how the team lost the championship last year and realized how it affected Pineda.
“Last year, I was able to watch the championship and I could tell how really frustrated he was. He really wanted to play for the National Finals and the sad thing was, I couldn’t do anything.”
This time, Santos made sure that he would repay the support given to him by his benefactor who played a huge role in shaping his exemplary career.
A former PBA Most Valuable Player, Santos’ contract with NorthPort ended last 30 August and the many-time All-Defensive Team member waited for an offer.
Without an offer, he became an unrestricted free agent a month later, which allowed him to see action in whichever squad or league he wanted to play for.
“I made sure that I will be able to help them out this time. I really want to help them win a championship.”
The Giant Lanterns ended up second in the Northern Division of the MPBL and immediately made their presence felt by beating Marikina, 82-70, to take the head start of their quarterfinal series.
Santos saw action on Friday but was used sparingly to allow the other players to shine, including former PBA player Encho Serrano, who joined the Giant Lanterns a few months ago right after the end of the PBA season.
With Santos and Serrano providing leadership, the Giant Lanterns are now determined to go all the way.