Arwind ok with making way for Standhardinger and Balkman

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on May 30, 2018 10:16 PM
Arwind ok with making way for Standhardinger and Balkman
Arwind Santos has no problems whatsoever ceding his usual position and regular minutes for top pick Christian Standhardinger and returning reinforcement Renaldo Balkman

San Miguel had no wins to show after the first three games in its title defense in the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

Losing to Meralco, Rain or Shine, and Alaska, the Beermen found themselves at the bottom of the standings before finally barging into the win column on Wednesday at the Araneta Coliseum at the expense of Phoenix. “Thankful kaming nakaisa kami,” veteran forward Arwind Santos shared.

He then continued, “Meron kaming team bonding, as in players lang, kahapon, and napag-usapan namin na 0-3 na kami at kailangan wag na namin i-allow na maging 0-4 pa.”

Of course, the fully-loaded defending champions needed more time than usual to get going. As Santos put it, “Yung combination e. Mahirap pang hanapin ni coach Leo yung combination.”

Indeed, head coach Leo Austria already had a battle-tested core of Santos, Alex Cabagnot, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, and four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, but also had to integrate top overall pick Christian Standhardinger and returning reinforcement Renaldo Balkman.

The good news for San Miguel is that for each and every game, that scary seven-man lineup is getting closer and closer to fruition.

That was very much evident in their matchup against the Fuel Masters where they went on an 17-1 run for a come-from-behind 106-94 win. “Mabuti naman, kahit papaano, napi-pick up na (ni coach Leo) pakonti-konti,” Santos said.

Along with that, 36-year-old Santos said that the players themselves are getting closer and closer to fully accepting what has to be done. “Siyempre, dapat nandudun pa rin yung mentality ng player na dapat, sacrifice talaga. Kagaya namin, siyempre, kailangan hindi kami mafu-frustrate na ‘di napapasok,” he shared.

The former MVP continued, “Nakakapanibago pa rin, siyempre, kasi sanay akong nilalaro ko, 4, tapos bigla akong mag-3. Pero kailangan ko talaga mag-adjust kasi dalawa talaga ang nasa 4 – si Christian at si Renaldo Balkman.”

And if the Beermen continue to sacrifice for the good of the team, Santos has no doubt that they will reach their goal sooner than later. “Mabuti na yung nakaisa na kami kasi ang goal na lang namin ngayon, hindi na top 1 o top 2 e, dun na sa 3, 4, 5, 6 na lang kami,” he said.

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