One of the biggest surprises in PBA history has been the one-for-one trade between San Miguel’s longtime standout Arwind Santos and veteran bruiser Vic Manuel of Northport.
The trade drew mixed reactions from the fans and media but the 40-year old Santos, a holder of numerous PBA accolades, responded calmly in an interview with SPIN.ph
“Nakakabigla, syempre. Pero wala naming imposible sa mundo,” said the PBA star who was traded by Air21 to SMB back in 2009.
It was a deal that no one saw coming as San Miguel’s formidable ‘Death Five’ – June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos who helped spur the team to nine championships including five straight titles in the Philippine Cup, will never be seen again after years of dominance hitting the court.
An established cluth performer, Santos bagged a Finals MVP honors, an MVP award, two Best Player of the Conference plums, seven Mythical First Team and four All-Defensive Selections, – making him one of the greatest and remarkable PBA players so far – not to mention his signature ‘Spiderman’ dunk.
Truth be told, his ‘connection’ with the San Miguel Corporation was established even before his stint with the Beermen when his father worked as a security guard in the former B-Meg plant located near Camp Olivas in Sto. Tomas, Pampanga.
It was during those times when Santos, a hardworking kid, took on menial jobs like pedaling a pedicab for 3 pesos per passenger, scavenging from other people’s garbage among others to help his family survive a day by providing food and making both ends meet.
Furthermore, the San Miguel stalwart said that a experiencing a heavy typhoon where the roofs and windows of their house were being blown away while he was holding on to anything that floats in case flood strikes their home was tough.
But for Santos, getting traded in PBA is a different story.
“Ang basketball, actually, ang madali sa buhay ko,” said the former MVP. “Ang ma-trade? Sobrang blessed ko sa buhay, at ang dami kong dapat ipasalamat sa ating Panginoon, para maging malungkot.” But the SMB’s longtime pillar admitted that the trade came as a surprise.
“Inasahan ko ba na mate-trade ako? Hindi,” said Santos. “Pero never ko rin inisip na never mangyayari sa akin ito. Siguro, meron lang ibang plano sa atin ang Panginoon.”
Santos has a good handle on the situation.
“Ako ‘yung klase ng tao na hindi nawawalan ng gagawin. Hindi ako pwedeng nakaupo lang kung may pwede akong gawin para gumanda ang laro ko,” he said. “Ngayon, mayroon na naman akong kailangang patunayan, sa sarili ko at sa ibang tao.”
“Kaya laban lang.”
The trade, the ‘Spiderman’said, is a chance for him to prove that at 40, he can still be a go-to clutch player especially for a team like Northport.