Arwind battles former team San Miguel; live fans back at Big Dome
NorthPort and Alaska lock horns on Sunday, as both try to pound out wins that would mean more than what will appear on their records.
The Batang Pier are looking to arrest a 0-2 slide, hoping to gift their new leader, Arwind Santos, a triumph against the very team that traded him away during the midseason lull.
San Miguel, on the other hand, is looking to claw out of a similar hole and prove that dealing away Santos—easily one of its most vocal leaders in a decade that was like no other—was not a horrendous mistake.
Robert Bolick, NorthPort’s young cornerstone, has even drawn the battle line: “We can’t let ‘kuya’ Arwind lose on Sunday.”
Santos, for his part, is looking at the 4 p.m. clash at Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City as just a chance for his new squad to get its act together.
“My only motivation is to block June Mar (Fajardo) when I get the chance,” he said with a chuckle.
“But seriously, you know me. Whichever team I’m with, I will play to win. June Mar and I are good sports,” he went on.
“Though he did say he’s going to post me up!” Santos added in jest.
Meanwhile, the league returns to the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, and for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic crippled sports in the country and the world, fans will be allowed to watch the games live.
Barangay Ginebra, the defending champion which debuts in the season-ending conference against Alaska shortly after the NorthPort-San Miguel clash, will be headlining a busy Christmas Day offering at the Big Dome against a yet to be named for.
The league got the green light from the Quezon City government to have fans back in the stands, although only vaccinated individuals, around 4,000 at the most and with proof of inoculation, will be allowed inside.