Santos still going strong despite age, grateful to be part of Gilas 12 vs Iran
Arwind Santos is one of the oldtimers in Philippine basketball. At 37-years-old, the 2013 PBA MVP is already considered as an elder statesman and he has every right to take it easy.
Taking things easy, however, isn’t part of Santos’ work order as he constantly produced stellar seasons throughout the years and he reached another milestone in his envy-worthy career when he got chosen as part of the national team lineup that will go up against Iran in the second round of the Fiba World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
It’s almost fitting that the man who chose for his latest international tour of duty was the man whom he played before in a Philippine jersey—the unflappable Yeng Guiao.
Santos gave credit to Guiao for selecting him to be part of the national team despite his lengthy career.
“I don’t look at my age actually as long as I still have my speed, my jump, and my power,” said Santos in Filpino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena after the team’s practice. “I will be the one to tell myself that I will stop once I feel that I can’t keep up with the younger players.”
“And I just want to thank coach Yeng for choosing me and I will always push myself that this won’t be my last selection to the national team and I’ll do my best to help the country.”
Santos would play in an Iran game that could very well give the Philippines a major chance to advance to the 2019 Fiba Basketball World Cup in China.
The top three teams from Groups E and F and the better of the fourth placers will advance to China and the Philippines are currently tied with Japan for the third spot in Group F.
Gilas holds a 5-4 record and will tie Iran for the second spot if they win on Monday.
Santos, who last donned the Philippine tricolor in 2009, said he’s willing do whatever it takes just to show that he deserves his spot on the team.
“I’m part of the national team and this is a privilege for me but it doesn’t end here,” said Santos. “I have to show that I deserve this spot and I have to play against players from the other teams.”
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