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Northport takes time in bringing Arwind Santos back

NorthPort is not rushing Arwind Santos to return as the team wants him to be at maximum health first and foremost before coming back.

The one-time PBA MVP only watched from the sidelines when the Batang Pier took on NLEX in Commissioner’s Cup action Wednesday night, the second time in a row he has missed a game no thanks to a knee injury.

“Masakit pa tuhod niya eh,” disclosed head coach Pido Jarencio after their 107-94 win at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. “Sabi niya, ‘Coach ‘di ko pa kaya.’ Sabi ko, basta bumalik ka, kailangan 100-percent ka. Hindi pwedeng 70, 80.

“‘Pag bumalik ka, dapat healthy ka. Para makatulong ka sa team. But we need Arwind. Kasi, part siya rin ng team na tumutulong eh,” he added.

The 41-year-old has now sat out a total of three matches in the mid-season joust. The first one was on October 16 in a 109-91 loss to Magnolia.

It was also the first time that he missed a game since November 2019, when he served the suspension imposed by then-mother team San Miguel in the aftermath of a practice brawl that also involved Dez Wells.

Santos actually played against the Beermen last October 26 at the Ynares Center in Antipolo. But, he only played for nine minutes and 52 seconds, tallying only three points, two rebounds, and a steal in their 104-86 defeat.

Then came the back-to-back absences, first against Rain or Shine in the league’s resumption last November 4 and now the Road Warriors game.

Asked if there’s a particular timetable as to when Santos can come back, Jarencio said that only the 16-year veteran can tell.

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“Si Arwind lang makakasabi,” said the seasoned mentor, who’s receiving per-game averages of 9.2 points and 6.2 rebounds from the nine-time titlist.

“Akala ko nga, lalaro na siya today eh. Akala ko magpa-practice noong last two practices namin, eh hindi siya um-attend. Sabi niya, hindi pa niya kaya. Let’s see. Eh ‘di naman pwedeng … Tingnan natin sa Sabado kung pwede siya.”

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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