By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
A key piece to San Miguel Beermen’s championship titles, former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Arwind Santos clinched another professional basketball milestone in his 16-year career.
After getting the ball in the post, Santos sized up SMB’s June Mar Fajardo and pulled off a difficult fade-away jump shot at the 11:20 mark of the third quarter to officially put his name in the league’s list of players who managed to score 10,000 points.
Despite NorthPort Batang Pier’s 122-106 loss against the Beermen, the small forward from Angeles City, Pampanga was showered with praises and love from his teammates and former teammates from San Miguel.
Santos would end up carrying the young Batang Pier in the game after finishing with 25 big points, seven rebounds, and a jaw-dropping five-block tally despite being the oldest member of NorthPort at 41 years old.
The former Far Eastern University Tamaraws superstar became the 17th player to reach the 10k-scoring plateau after Rain or Shine Elastopainters’ James Yap and Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s Mark Caguiao did it in the last three years.
Santos faced early questions after a shocking trade by the Beermen, sending him to the Batang Pier in what was dubbed as an “end of an era” for SMB.
Clutch point guard Alex Cabagnot was also involved in the mega trade deal where he was shipped to the Terrafirma Dyip but is currently nursing a season-ending injury after tearing his Achilles.
The six-foot-four forward proved all the doubters wrong in his very first season with NorthPort after finishing the 2021-2022 season with averages of 17.33 points, 8.08 rebounds, and 1.75 blocks per game but fell short in advancing to the semifinals of the PBA Governor’s Cup.
Since arriving in NorthPort, Santos has become their vocal and locker room leader alongside superstar Robert Bolick and several young guns led by Troy Rike, Roi Sumang, Kevin Ferrer, and JM Calma.
Santos is currently averaging 12 points, 8.86 rebounds, and 2 blocks per game in the ongoing PBA Philippine Cup and is looking to break more records entering his 17th year in the league.