PBA Governors' Cup

Jeff Cariaso lauds Arwind Santos after NorthPort debut: ‘True veteran’

Delfin Dioquino
Jeff Cariaso lauds Arwind Santos after NorthPort debut: ‘True veteran’

SORRY LOSS. Arwind Santos and NorthPort fall short against Alaska in the PBA Governors' Cup opener.

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Arwind Santos, 40, shows he has a lot left to offer as he stars for NorthPort following his shock trade from San Miguel

MANILA, Philippines – Arwind Santos hardly looked like he is 40 years old as he impressed in his debut for the NorthPort Batang Pier in the PBA Governors’ Cup.

Santos churned out game-highs of 23 points and 4 blocks on top of 7 rebounds and 3 steals, although the Batang Pier fell short against the Alaska Aces in a sorry 85-87 loss on Wednesday, December 8.

“He knows where to get his shots from, it doesn’t matter what team he’s playing for,” said Aces coach Jeff Cariaso as his side survived Santos’ fourth-quarter explosion. “As long as he can get his shots, he’ll make them.”

Santos built a reputation as a clutch performer during his 12-year stint with the San Miguel Beermen, which yielded a PBA MVP award, two Finals MVP plums, two Best Player of the Conference honors, and nine championships.

The Beermen, however, shook up their roster by trading their two oldest players: Santos to the Batang Pier and 38-year-old Alex Cabagnot to the Terrafirma Dyip.

But Santos showed he has a lot left to offer as he unloaded 14 points in the fourth quarter, including 12 straight in a 16-5 run that turned a 69-79 deficit to an 85-84 lead with 40 ticks left.

Alaska, though, denied Santos of a triumphant debut for NorthPort behind a clutch Robbie Herndon bucket and back-to-back defensive stops on Batang Pier star Robert Bolick down the stretch.

“True veteran there,” Cariaso said of Santos.

Santos will try to get his first win with NorthPort as they tangle with the NLEX Road Warriors on Friday, December 10, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig. – Rappler.com

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.