Arwind Santos unhappy with ejection: ‘I was just playing around’

MANILA, Philippines — Arwind Santos was anything but happy about getting tossed from the San Miguel Beermen's game versus Star Hotshots on Sunday, May 24. He maintained his intention was pure and far from harmful.

"Ang basketball kasi para sa akin, maglaro ka ng seryoso, pero hindi masama na lagyan mo ng kaunting kulitan or kaunting pang-aasar. Pang-aasar yung ginawa ko, kaunting kulitan," the 33-year old former PBA MVP explained. 

"Hindi ko inexpect na mabibigyan ng techincal dahil wala sa intensyon ko na tamaan talaga. Kontrolado ko e, alam ko kung tatamaan kita at hindi."

(Basketball for me is playing seriously but it's not a bad thing to play around or tease a little. I was just teasing and playing around. I did not expect I would be given a technical because it was not my intention to hit him [Marqus Blakely]. I have control, I know if I'll hit somebody or not.)

Santos was thrown out of the game at the 9:34 mark of the fourth after he incurred his second technical foul, owing to swinging his elbows thrice in front of Star import Marqus Blakely during a rebound play.

Hotshots head coach Tim Cone marched up to Santos right away and confronted him.

"Sabi niya that’s bullshit daw. Ayoko na lang sagutin e. Tumahimik na lang ako," Santos explained what transpired with Cone. 

"Ang masasabi ko lang dun parang, ngayon ka lang ba nakakita ng ganitong bullshit sa PBA? Sa tagal mo na sa PBA? Yun ang gusto ko sabihin e pero quiet lang ako. Nandoon pa rin yung respeto ko, hindi ko na lang ginawa."

(He said that it was bullshit. I just did not want to answer him back. I just kept quiet. What I wanted to say though was, is this the first time you've seen bullshit like this in the PBA? In your many years here? That's what I wanted to tell him [Tim Cone] but I stayed quiet. I respect him still, so I did not say anything.)

Santos, who was slapped with his first technical as he got entangled with Marc Pingris, believes a second one was not something he deserved.

"Para sa akin hindi ako masaya sa tawag na yun e. Dapat warning muna pwede pa. Parang hindi na bago sa PBA or sa ibang liga na meron nangaasar ng kaunti," he said before adding in jest, "Buti sana kung tinamaan ko e. Naisip ko nga kanina sana tinamaan ko na lang para at least totoo pa."

(For me I'm not happy with that call. It should've been just a warning. Teasing a little is not new to the PBA or any other league. If I had hit him, that's different. I thought I might as well have hit him so at least it was real.)

Santos also alluded to how Blakely might have been provoking as well, as the import did not step aside right away after he was whistled for a foul.

"Sabi niya parang muntik ko raw siyang tamaan. Gusto ko daw siyang tirahin sa siko na yun," Santos shared what Blakely told him. 

"Pero unang una foul [trouble] na siya e, tingin ko asar na siya doon. Ganoon lang talaga. Kung tutuusin bakit ayaw niya alisin yung mukha niya? Natawagan na siya bakit nandoon pa rin siya?"

(He said I nearly hit him. He said I wanted to elbow him. But I thought he was in foul trouble, so he was getting frustrated too. If you think about it, why didn't he move his face away? There was already a whistle yet why did he stay there?)

Santos finished with 12 points as the Beermen held its own and stayed composed through the endgame to secure a 100-89 victory.

It was San Miguel's third straight victory in this 2015 PBA Governors' Cup, a significant turnaround from a 0-2 start and a dismal mid-season conference for the Philippine Cup champions.

Santos attributes the positive change to players gaining a deeper understanding of the team's goals and the means to achieving them.

"So far dahil sa tatlong sunod na panalo, kitang kita na natin na nag-improve yung team namin at ang ganda ng nilalaro ng bawat isa," he said.

"Mas naintindihan namin yung bawat isa, lalo yung import namin, kung ano yung gustong ipagawa ng coaches namin."

(So far with the 3 straight wins we can see that our team improved and each of us is playing well. We understand better, especially our import, what our coaches want us to do.)

The Hotshots, on the other hand, have struggled since winning their opening tiff and have dropped 3 straight games. – Rappler.com