After joining 10k-points club, Arwind’s next goal is to continue playing until 2025

Rey Joble

Posted at Jul 03 2022 04:41 AM | Updated as of Jul 03 2022 11:12 AM

PBA Media Bureau
The NorthPort big man and former MVP says he never dreamed of reaching the rare scoring milestone – ‘God is good talaga’, Santos acknowledges. PBA Media Bureau

Fresh from accomplishing milestones at this latter stretch of his career by cracking the PBA’s Mythical First Team and the All-Defensive Team in the past season, Arwind Santos achieved yet another remarkable feat on Saturday night during NorthPort’s 122-106 loss to his former team, San Miguel Beer.

The 41-year-old, former Most Valuable Player finished with 25 points, seven rebounds and five shot blocks. Prior to this game, the 6-foot-4 standout from Far Eastern University needed only 13 points to become the 16th local player to make it to the league’s elite club of 10,000-points scorers.

“Nagpapasalamat ako kasi hindi naman lahat nakaka-score ng 10,000. It’s another achievement. Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga nagtitiwala sa akin, lalo na yung mga coaches. Kapag ang coach walang tiwala sa iyo, hindi mo makakuha yung mga ganyan,” said Santos.

“Siguro, simula nung nag-umpisa ako, gusto kong makatulong sa team. Gusto ko kapag naglalaro ako, parating may kontribusyon ako. Ito yung epekto, na hindi ko namam minadali, dumaan ako sa tamamg proseso. Basta laro lang ako, hindi ko siya masyadong iniisip. Ngayon, andyan yung 10,000 (points), sobrang nakakatuwa. Parang isang harvest na naman para sa akin. Parte ng history ng buhay ko.”

Santos joined the elite scoring club — Atoy Co, Ramon Fernandez, William Adornado, Francis Arnaiz, Philip Cezar, Alberto Guidaben, Robert Jaworski, Allan Caidic, Alvin Patrimonio, Isabelo Lastimosa, Nelson Asaytono, Venancio Paras, Jerry Codinera, Mark Caguioa and James Yap. 

Caguioa, Yap and Santos were the only three players to achieve the feat in more than two decades. 

“Hindi ko inaasahan na makaka-10,000 points ako. Unang-una, hindi ko alam kung tatagal ako, kung tatagal ako ng 10 years. God is good talaga. Hindi lahat ng player umaabot sa ganyan. Nagpapasalamat rin ako na wala akong injury na malala. Parating healthy pa rin ako at nakakapag-perform ako at the same time. Hindi ko talaga akalain ’yun. Ang gusto ko manalo, mag-champion, makatulong sa team. ’Yun lang,” said Santos.

“Gusto kong makita ng mga supporters ko na si Arwind, competitive. Parating ibinibigay ang best sa laro. Yun lang. Yun ang gusto kong identity. Kapag narinig yung pangalang Arwind Santos, hindi ako maalala dahil lang sa 10,000 points.”

Only a few people were able to achieve accomplishments at his age, but it seems Santos remains to be on top of his game. He was also named the PBA Press Corps’ Defensive Player of the Year just recently, becoming the oldest player to win the prestigious award.

Santos has no illusions of staying longer, but he wants to play while he can still make key contributions to his team. He set a goal of playing until 2025 and hopes to achieve another milestone — and possibly, a championship — before he retires for good.

“Gusto ko matapos ’yung career ko na naasahan pa rin ako, nakaka pag-perform pa rin ako, hindi dahil para tumagal lang,” said Santos. “Kung hindi ako ginagamit, kapag ganun, baka mag-retire na ako. Pero gusto ko nakakapag-contribute pa rin ako, nagagamit pa rin ako. Para maipakita ko rin sa mga supporters at ibang athletes na posible, kasi ako nagagawa ko.”

“Ang goal ko naman is (to play until) 2025 pa. Malay natin, hindi natin masabi. Maganda rin yung may goal kang ganyan. Parang naalala ko nung bata ako. Piso-piso, palima-limang piso. Ang gusto ko lang bilhin noon, tsinelas na Beach Walk. Pag-iipunan ko. Pero magugulat ka, ‘paano ko naipon yun’? Parang ganun. Similar dito targetin ko 11,000. Malay natin maabot natin. Maging 10,500. Try natin.”