PETRON star Arwind Santos has shrugged off suggestions that his performance is bound to improve in the coming PBA Governors Cup now that Jay Washington is no longer with the Blaze Boosters.
Santos has for so long shared the same positions with Washington, the two-time Best Player of the Conference who the Blazers traded to Globalport last month for Jason Deutchman and a future draft.
With Washington gone, expectations are now high for Santos to shoulder a lot more responsibility under coach Gee Abanilla and consultant Todd Purves as his minutes - and role - grow bigger.
Santos, though, would hear none of it.
“Marami nagsasabi sa akin, wala na daw si Jay Washington so mas maganda na ang ipapakita ko sa laro,” said the six-time PBA All-Defensive team member. "Desisyon iyan ng management, pero sa akin, ang importante eh ang kooperasyon ng bawat isa para mabuo kami."
Santos' averages hit career-lows of 9.7 points and 7.0 rebounds in 16 games in the last Commissioner's Cup, but the pride of Pampanga insisted it had nothing to do with Washington's presence.
The former FEU star also pointed out that aside from Washington, he also has to share minutes with imports in the final two conferences of the season.
“Siyempre, may import pa ako na kapalitan saka si Jay Washington. Pero para sa akin, ang importante maka-una kami, na maganda na ang ipapakita namin," he said, pointing out that the Governors Cup will be a short tournament.
Saying he is already "90 percent" as far as his conditioning is concerned, Santos said he is eager to play well in the season-ending conference to help Petron finally shed the "underachiever" tag.
"Nakakasawa na kasi marinig na ang Petron malakas na team pero bakit laging natatalo,” he said.