Santos admits Abueva not playing in semis a relief for Beermen
Arwind Santos is no stranger to making words that will either make someone scratch his head or clutch his chin.
The polarizing forward once likened San Miguel’s Game 4 victory during the 2016 PBA Philippine Cup finals—the start of the “Beeracle”— to a sweet fruit inside Alaska’s field, and was fined P25,000 after his comments towards game officials during the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup finals.
But a conference later, he’s still candid as ever.
With the Beermen facing Alaska in the semifinals of the Commissioner’s Cup, Santos admitted it would be “hypocritical” if he said that he wants to play against Calvin Abueva.
“I’m not being a hypocrite here, we don’t want to play against Calvin because he’s really a big factor for Alaska,” said Santos in Filipino after the Beermen’s 106-102 Game 2 win over TNT Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Abueva is still suspended indefinitely from the Aces squad after missing weeks of practice.
“It’s just weird not seeing Calvin because even though he isn’t here, Alaska is playing so well,” said Santos, who finished with eight points and 10 rebounds. “What more if Calvin was there, their run might be even higher.”
The Aces finished with the eliminations with an 8-3 record including a string of seven straight wins and the majority of the games were won without Abueva.
Santos, though, is looking at Vic Manuel, who is a frontrunner for the Best Player of the Conference award, and Diamon Simpson as threats to their title defense.
Manuel is averaging 24.18 points and 6.36 rebounds while Simpson, who last played with the Aces in 2010 when they won the Fiesta Cup, holds numbers of 15.5 points and 17 rebounds in his two games back with the team.
“I’m not belittling them for whoever is on the court against us, we still respect whoever we’re facing,” said Santos. “There’s Diamon, they won a championship with him, and Vic who’s playing really well. They are the ones we have to look at, and not someone who’s not with them.”
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