Beermen also mourn death of Santos’ mother Araceli
June Mar Fajardo stretched in the sidelines. Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter, and the rest of the Beermen ran a three-man weave. Coach Leo Austria watched on from the other end. It’s business as usual for San Miguel in Acropolis Gym.
However, one key figure was visibly absent: Arwind Santos.
The former MVP has missed San Miguel practices since Monday after his mother Araceli passed away on Sunday.
And understandably, the Beermen are holding fort amid the gloom as they show their support to a brother who is mourning.
“We’re here to support Arwind,” team captain Alex Cabagnot said.
“It’s always family first and basketball is just secondary. The priority for him is to mourn and we’re here to help him. He even wants to play, but we just said we’ll take care of it ourselves.”
Fajardo said they are dedicating their practices to Santos and his grieving family.
“Syempre mahirap para sa amin na mag-practice ng kulang, at alam namin yung pinagdadaanan ni Arwind sa pamilya nya. Pero part pa rin ng trabaho namin ito at ang pinakamagagawa namin ay i-dedicate sa kanya at sa pamilya nya every practice and every game.”
Ronald Tubid and Cabagnot shared that the whole team felt the loss of Mrs. Santos, who has always been a huge booster for the squad ever since.
“Parang ang hirap i-explain ng body language namin because the energy is so low. But we talked about it na kailangan positive lang. Masakit man isipin, pero life must go on.”
“Personally, very close kami nun. Ang tagal na namin magkasama ni Arwind, since 2010 when I got traded here. All the championships, yung samahan, yung kulitan, she was there,” said Cabagnot. “She was one of our true supporters talaga, and almost one of our teammates na din kasi andun sya lagi.”
But Austria is hoping to turn the sad situation into a positive one.
“In the past year and a half, we’re used to adversities like this. And whenever we take one step backward, we always take two steps forward,” he said.
“Unavoidable yung mga ganitong sitwasyon pero we have to deal with this, and I think gumanda na rin yung bonding ng team dahil sa mga hamon na ganito.”
Cabagnot also said that the team is doing their part to support Santos, while still keeping their focus on the task at hand.
“All I’m asking the team is to focus and keep doing what we do. But the important thing for us talaga is samahan yung brother namin,” he said.
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