Arwind Santos vows to fulfill an old promise of leading Pampanga to the title of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League Fifth Season.
In the latest episode of Down To The Wire podcast late Tuesday, the 42-year-old Santos stressed that he is working hard to fulfill his promise to Pampanga Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda of giving the province an MPBL title.
Bannered by Santos, the pride of Lubao, together with prized forwards Justin Baltazar and Encho Serrano under the mentorship of Pineda, the Giant Lanterns have already arranged a best-of-three North Division finals duel with San Juan.
A victory by the Giant Lanterns will pit them in the National Finals against the survivor in the South Division encounter between Batangas and General Santos City.
Santos said he will do whatever it takes to complete the task.
“We all know that the reason why I’m here in the MPBL is because I want to help out my father figure in Gov. Delta,” Santos said during the weekly sports podcast of Daily Tribune.
“Playing for his team is not enough with all the help he has given me. I witnessed how they lost to Nueva Ecija last time when they failed to win the (North Division) championship. I saw how frustrated he (Pineda) was. Now, I’m given an opportunity to help his team so I want to win the championship but at the same time contribute to the victory.”
Although the Giant Lanterns are favored to advance to the National Finals, Santos refused to get complacent. After all, they will be facing a Knights team that already won a league championship and Santos knew that they couldn’t leave any stone unturned.
“It’s hard to tell,” Santos said when asked about his team’s chances.
“But we cannot be overconfident. We really need to work harder in winning that championship.”
Santos reiterated that he is very motivated to win the title.
He had won championships in every league he had played for from the PBA to the Philippine Basketball League and the University Athletic Association. The only jewel missing in his crown is the MPBL diadem.
“I’ve proven myself in the PBA, the UAAP and PBL, then here comes MPBL. It’s a new challenge for me. I am using this as probably a step on my way back to the PBA, so I want to reward my father figure, Gov. Delta — a championship,” Santos said, adding that he still has unfinished business in the PBA, preferably with his old club, San Miguel Beer.
“I want to retire and probably have my jersey retired while playing for San Miguel, hopefully being given an opportunity to win another PBA championship and make a contribution to the team.”