If there is one thing that Arwind Santos wants to do, as Renaldo Balkman has made his way back to the San Miguel Beermen, it will be perfecting their relationship that did not go the way they’d wanted to in the past.
The two decorated cagers will always be remembered for that infamous altercation they had mid-game in 2013, when the former became the recipient of the latter’s choke when Santos was simply trying to pacify Balkman.
But now, with the ghosts of the past already exorcised and with the wounds all healed, the 12-year pro is looking forward to having a fruitful bond with the Puerto Rican, who attended his first practice with San Miguel on Wednesday.
“Everybody deserves a second chance,” said Santos. “Hindi ako nagtatanim ng galit. Siguro magkakailangan lang ng una, kasi parang, alam mo yun, parang naghihintayan kung sino mauuna.
“Basta nagkita ulit kami, sana ma-perfect namin yung samahan namin.”
Santos also expressed delight with Balkman’s demeanor, lauding the way the newly-minted ASEAN Basketball League champion brought positive vibes to the Beermen’s practice even if it had been just his first appearance.
“Although hindi kami nakapag-usap ng matagal kasi nauubusan ako ng bala diyan. ‘Yung accent niyan ang lalim,” Santos quipped, “pero at least ang pagkakaiba ngayon, si Renaldo nung dumating siya, nakangiti siya.
“Sobrang positive energy ang pinapakita niya. Matutuwa ka din.”
During his stint with Alab Pilipinas in the ABL, Balkman proved that he is still a force to be reckoned with even at 33. Santos knows what Balkman can bring to the table, so he’s looking forward to see him wreak havoc in the PBA.
Even if it means playing less minutes to give way to the former NBA cager.
“Si Renaldo Balkman naman, yung position niya, talagang kailangan namin. Kailangan nga mag-sacrifice ulit ako, yung minuto ko, pwedeng siya ang gumamit, pwede kaming magkasabay,” said the 2013 league Most Valuable Player.
“So kung ganun talaga ang mangyayari, hindi mo kailangan isipin na may kulang o hindi maganda. Kanina, ni-run namin, magkakasabay kami, maganda naman ang tingin ko, nangangamoy panalo sa game namin sa Dumaguete.”