ARWIND Santos joins the four new entrants to Team Pilipinas' 12-man roster for the Iran game on Monday in the 2019 Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers.
Coach Yeng Guiao bared the development on Saturday during the national team's evening practice session at Mall of Asia Arena as the 2013 PBA Most Valuable Player gets a chance to don the tri-colors for the first time since 2009.
Santos will be among the new faces for the second of the two-game homestand alongside Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, and naturalized player Christian Standhardinger.
Guiao, though, refused to name the four players who he will replace from his roster against Kazakhstan.
"Di ko muna sasabihin," he said with a smile.
Though Guiao designed his 20-man pool to parade possibly the tallest Philippine lineup ever seen, it doesn't necessarily mean that he'll put premium to taller players, as seen in the squad's shock 92-88 defeat to the Kazakhs on Friday.
"Yun nga ang sinasabi ko, na the tallest lineup doesn't necessarily mean the strongest lineup. There is a speed factor, a quickness factor that we need to consider because the big men that we'll face are big and they're quick and strong. If you're just big, it will not suffice. You have to be able to combine the size and the speed to match up," he said.
It's quite funny, really, for Guiao that before, size was the biggest problem for the Philippines and now, it's finding those bigs who can also move quickly.
"Noong una kasi, meron tayong quickness with our big men, pero wala naman tayong size. Ngayon, nagkaroon tayo ng size, pero as witnessed last night, kulang tayo sa quickness. So we have to balance it. We have to find maximum efficiency of size and quickness," he said.
With the changes done to the roster, Guiao thinks that Gilas has already done the best it could to find that equilibrium.
"We hope so and we feel that we've made the adjustment lineup-wise. We feel that the people we put in, Christian has the quickness, Troy has the quickness, Arwind has the quickness, and then si Jayson is there," he said. "So yung quickness requirement namin, napunuan naman, pero magsa-sacrifice ka lang talaga ng size."