ARWIND Santos admitted his shortcomings and chose to move on from his altercation with Jericho Cruz that marred the endgame of the PBA Philippine Cup quarterfinals between San Miguel and TnT Katropa on Tuesday night.
The one-time league MVP is aware of having committed a wrongdoing, which he said was because he got carried away due to the intensity of the match.
“Inamin ko na may kasalanan ako at pinapatawad ko rin si Jericho kasi ganun lang talaga. Hindi namin mapipigilan yung emosyon namin kasi pareho naming gustong manalo,” said Santos after the reigning, three-time champion clinched a berth in the semifinals of the season-opening meet with a 105-93 victory over the Katropa at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The realization came after he and the Beermen said their prayers inside the dugout following the win.
At the same time, Santos quickly realized how PBA players like him and Cruz are being idolized by basketball-loving Filipinos, especially the young ones.
“Naisip ko pa rin in the end, isa kami sa pinapanood at hinahangaan ng mga kabataan kaya kailangan kaming magandang halimbawa sa kanila at isa yun sa mga prinsipyo ko.”
The 35-year-old Santos bumped Cruz from behind following a basket from San Miguel teammate Chris Ross at the 1:20 mark of the payoff period and the Beermen protecting a 10-point lead, prompting the TnT guard to retaliate with a forearm.
Cruz was hit with a flagrant foul, while Santos got ejected after incurring his second technical foul of the match.
Other than that endgame ejection, Santos was actually on fire in the fourth quarter where he hit 10 of his 15 points, including back-to-back three-pointers that allowed the Beermen to finally take control, 88-83, with 5:13 left.
The lanky forward from Far Eastern University added seven rebounds and four assists, although he was 6-of-14 from the field and 3-of-10 from the three-point region.
After disposing TnT, the Beermen now look forward to the semis where they will face the winner of the playoffs series between Barangay Ginebra and Rain or Shine.
“Kung sino ang makalaban namin doon, alam namin na mabigat pa rin yun. Kailangan namin respetuhin at paghandaan pa rin sila,” he said.