Arwind Santos takes act to Pampanga in MPBL, still eyes PBA comeback

Delfin Dioquino

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Arwind Santos takes act to Pampanga in MPBL, still eyes PBA comeback

VETERAN. Arwind Santos in action for the NorthPort Batang Pier in the PBA.

PBA Images

Pampanga brings in former PBA MVP Arwind Santos as the Lanterns shoot for their first MPBL championship

MANILA, Philippines – Arwind Santos will play for his home province in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League after his contract with PBA club NorthPort Batang Pier expired.

The Pampanga Giant Lanterns announced on Friday, October 6, that the former PBA MVP will debut for the team in their MPBL quarterfinal series against the Marikina Shoe Masters.

Game 1 of the best-of-three affair is slated on Friday at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center in Pampanga.

Santos’ one-year deal with NorthPort expired last August 31.

According to his agent Danny Espiritu, Santos became an unrestricted free agent at the end of September with no offer sheet from the Batang Pier.

Pampanga Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda, who discovered Santos early in his basketball career, told the 42-year-old veteran to take his act to the MPBL for the meantime as the Lanterns shoot for their first league crown.

Pineda also serves as the Lanterns’ head coach.

In Pampanga, Santos will team up with former Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Justine Baltazar and former Phoenix Fuel Masters guard Encho Serrano.

Santos, though, still hopes for a PBA comeback after his MPBL stint.

A potential PBA landing spot for Santos is Converge, which tried – and failed – to make Pineda its team governor.

“He said he can play for two more years,” said Espiritu in Filipino.

Santos has played 16 seasons in the PBA since being drafted second overall in 2006, enjoying a stellar career that saw him win nine championships – all with the San Miguel Beermen.

He won league MVP in 2013, two Finals MVP plums, two Best Player of the Conference awards, three Defensive Player of the Year honors, and made the Mythical First Team 10 times.

The Beermen let go of Santos in 2021 and traded him to the Batang Pier. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.