NorthPort continued to crumble, absorbing its sixth-straight loss in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup after opening the conference with two wins.
And this is an all-new feeling for team captain Arwind Santos, who came from the winning culture of San Miguel before being shipped to the Batang Pier last November.
“Iniisip ko na lang ganito talaga ang buhay. Sinasabi nga ng mga ninuno natin ang buhay parang gulong diba?” said Santos, a nine-time PBA champion.
“Dati nung time na nasa San Miguel ako ang gulong ng buhay namin nandodoon kami lagi sa top. Ngayong nandito ako, lesson learned at tanggap ko yun.”
Santos admitted that this dragging stretch of six consecutive defeats sometimes gets to his mentality.
However, the 41-year-old veteran is showing his experience in this challenging time.
“Sa dugout sobrang tahimik nga. Bilang player sa ganitong posisyon, minsan nakaka-drain din. Nandoon na ‘yung pagod, nandoon na ‘yung sakit na natalo ka,” the former league MVP said.
“At the end of the day dahil ito ‘yung trabaho namin kailangan naming mahalin eh. Dahil sa propesyon namin, patibayan rin talaga ng mentality.”
The former league MVP though is not the one to show his frustrations and all other emotions in the NorthPort dugout.
He still wants to be the calming voice in the disorganized Batang Pier squad, now at 2-6, tied with Phoenix and Rain or Shine for ninth place.
“Iisipin mo na lang kailangan hindi mo ipapakita na isa ka doon sa affected, kailangan ipakita mo pa rin na kahit deep inside sayo nade-drain ka na pero kailangan mong ipakita na sige laban,” said Santos.
“Kasi lahat kami down eh, kailangan may isang tumayo.”
But it is not yet the end of the road for NorthPort as it still has a chance to make it to the postseason – but in just a harder way.
And Santos is not yet giving up on his Batang Pier.
“Kumbaga kahit late na kami sa flight, makahabol kami kahit papaano. Kahit sa pakpak lang kami kumapit.”
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.