After having multiple chances of representing the country in the international scene, San Miguel Beermen veteran Arwind Santos is done with the national team and has no interest of becoming part of Gilas Pilipinas in the future.
In an episode of The Athlete’s Corner podcast, the nine-time PBA champion talked about his last Gilas stint back in 2018, his first time playing for the national team since 2009.
During the game against Iran, Santos came into the second quarter and scored a bucket right away. However, after that quarter, he wasn’t inserted back in to the game and that turned out to be his last stint and last bucket for Gilas.
The 39-year-old forward from Pampanga looked back on that experience and shared his thoughts at that time.
“Ewan ko ba, yun yung mga bagay na kailangan ko i-keep. Respeto na lang yun kay Coach Yeng and sa mga Coaching staff nya. Sabi ko nga nun, kung maibabalik pa ako tingin ko may magagawa pa ko. Kaya lang hindi na’ko nakabalik nung time na ‘yon,” he said.
“Reading-ready ako nung time na ‘yon, yung unang score ko na ‘yun, pasa pa ni June Mar (Fajardo) ‘yun,” he added.
Santos has proven himself to be one of the most clutch players of all-time. Making big shots anywhere on the floor, especially, when the game is on the line. That’s why he was shocked when he was not on the floor since the game was on the line at the closing moments.
“Oo naman, kasi kung titignan mo yung mga naglalaro dun sa loob, ‘di naman sa ‘di sya deserve pero (napatunayan ko na kasi sarili ko). Minsan mapapasabi ka sa sarili mon a ‘nako! Mas makakatulong naman ako siguro kaysa dito’ yung mga ganun kasi alam mo yung kakayahan mo e,”
Santos will be 42-years-old once the 2023 FIBA World Cup comes around. Asi Taulava back then still played for the national team at the age of 42.
But for the former Most Valuable Player, even if he admitted that his last stint was very short and that he was unsatisfied what happened, Santos stated that he will no longer be playing for the national team even if he’s given an offer to play as a veteran leader of the team
“Ayoko na, kahit offer-an nila ako, ayoko na. Marami pang mas magaling tsaka mas batang players, Naniniwala dn ako dun. Malaki din matutulong nila, ako, okay na’ko. Focus na lang ako sa goal naming na maka- grandslam. Pwede ako mag coach lang,” he said.
Santos stated that he will just focus on the goal to win more titles in the PBA and will instead give up his spot for younger and better players in the future.