Arwind Santos was fully aware of how close he is to reaching 10,000 PBA career points all because of the constant reminders by his wife and kids.
“Hindi ko talaga siya talaga makalimutan kasi ‘yung mga anak ko, isa sila sa makukulit na lagi nagpapaalala sakin. Sinabihan ko na kasi yung asawa ko, sabi ko, ‘Tumahimik ka ng paalala mong ganyan,'” he said in between chuckles.
“Kasi minsan, baka akala nila, ayan ang iniisip ko e. Sama-sama ng pinakita ko nung last ani natin, six points ako. Tapos mga anak ko, ang kukulit din. Sinabihan ko rin mga anak ko, sabi ko, ‘Stop that ha, relax lang kayo.'”
Santos, of course, knows that his family is simply excited to see their ‘Tatay’ make history. After all, only an elite few have scored that much in Asia’s pioneering pro league, and only two have joined the club in the last 21 years.
“Hindi naman lahat, makaka-iskor ng ten thousand e, ‘di ba,” said the 41-year-old, who was crowned the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2013.
Santos finally achieved the feat on Saturday night, when NorthPort took on, ironically, his former team San Miguel Beer in the 2022 Philippine Cup.
He did so through a fadeaway jumper over June Mar Fajardo with 11:19 to go in the third quarter, giving him 10,001 points to his name to become just the 17th player to join a group headed by the great Ramon Fernandez (18,996).
The Batang Pier, unfortunately, lost, 122-106, and the bemedaled veteran — who finished with a game-high 25 points and seven rebounds — would’ve preferred to leave the SMART Araneta Coliseum with the win.
But it’s history nonetheless, something that Santos never imagined that he would get when he began his professional career back in 2006.
“Hindi. Kasi unang-una, hindi ko rin alam kung tatagal ako, aabot ako ng ten years. God is good talaga dahil umabot ako — hindi lahat ng player umaabot sa ganiyan,” he said.
“Nagpapasalamat ako wala akong injury na malala.
“Laging healthy pa rin ako, nakakapag-perform pa rin ako at the same time. ‘Di ko talaga akalain yun. Basta ako, ‘yun lang ako e. Ang gusto ko, mag-champion, manalo, makatulong sa team. ‘Yun lang,” he added.
Santos is just filled with immense gratitude to score 10,000 points as he adds yet another milestone to an illustrious career.
“Another achievement na talagang nagpapasalamat ako sa mga nagtitiwala sa akin, lalo na sa mga coach. Kasi kapag ang coach walang tiwala sayo, ‘di mo makukuha yung mga ganyan,” said the nine-time champion.
“Mula nung nagsimula ako, gusto ko makatulong sa team, gusto ko’ pag naglalaro ako may contribution ako. Eto yung epekto.
“Hindi ko naman minadali, dumaan lang ako sa tamang proseso, basta laro lang ako, hindi ko siya masyado iniisip. Ngayon andiyan yung ten thousand, sobrang nakakatuwa,” added the former second overall pick.
Can he go for 11,000? He was asked, and responded in a way Arwind Santos does. “Siguro warm-up pa lang … iiskor na ‘ko ng 200 lagi,” he joked.
Turning serious, the league’s reigning Defensive Player of the Year said: “Pero depende, ‘di natin masabi. Tutal ang goal ko naman is 2025 pa, malay mo, di natin masabi. Maganda rin kasi ‘yung may goal kang ganyan.
“Naalala ko nagiipon ako ng bata ako. Piso piso, limampiso, ang gusto ko lang bilhin nun, tsinelas na Beach Walk. Pagiipunun ko. Bandang huli, ‘pag nakaipon na ‘ko, ayoko nang gastusin. Pero magugulat ka na lang, paano ko naipon ‘yun?
“Parang ganun din ‘yan. Similar na, ‘Okay, targetin ko ‘yan. 11,000.’ Malay natin maabot natin, maging 10,500. ‘Di natin masabi. Tingnan natin. Try natin,” he closed.
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.