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Arwind Santos, Vic Manuel keep door open for possible Gilas call-up



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Photos: Arwind Santos (Noel Tonido/TBT); Vic Manuel (PBA Images)

More help is coming.

Arwind Santos and Vic Manuel, two of the best forwards in the PBA today, have made it known that they are ready to answer whenever Gilas Pilipinas calls following FIBA’s suspension of some players for their brawl with Australia.

Their willingness to help the program comes a day after celebrated big men such as Greg Slaughter, Raymond Almazan, and Beau Belga — all who have been involved with Gilas in the past — have affirmed their support.

“Oo naman siyempre. Kung mabibigyan ng chance, bakit hindi?,” said Manuel.

Manuel has become a favorite to be a part of the national team thanks to his stellar campaign in the ongoing 2018 Commissioner’s Cup — he is currently ranked second in the race for the Best Player of the Conference award.

“Siyempre malaking bagay yon,” beamed the 31-year-old Manuel, who hails from Licab, Nueva Ecija.

“Siyempre ako rin dream ko rin makapaglaro para sa bansa. Siyempre, ayun, gusto ko rin makatulong sa kanila.”

Santos, on the other hand, is no stranger to international play.

The 37-year-old had played for the national team in 2006 and saw action in the Jones Cup under coach Chot Reyes. And in 2009, he had been a part of the Powerade Team Pilipinas that finished eighth in the FIBA Asia Championship.

Santos had been wanted by Reyes for Gilas 2.0 back in 2012, but for some reason, he didn’t make it.

“Okay lang naman ako. Wala namang problema,” said the 2013 PBA Most Valuable Player. “Lalo na’t kasama ko sina Marcio [Lassiter], sina June Mar [Fajardo]. Okay sa akin. At saka para sa ano natin, mga nawala natin.

“Siyempre, sino pa maglalaro sa atin? Kung kailangan, sige. Nandoon lang naman ako.”

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