Arwind Santos holds on to his teammates, fans, family in time of grief
"Ang mama ko, isa 'yun sa malaking ugat na nakadugtong sa puso ko,”says Arwind Santos. Jaime Campos

AS he took and buried his first basket – a three-pointer – against NLEX halfway through the first quarter on Tuesday, Arwind Santos pointed skyward as June Mar Fajardo tapped his teammate’s chest.

Santos showed he was back for San Miguel Beer while mourning the death of his mother, Araceli.

“Para sa mama ko 'yun,” the SMB star said after the thrilling PBA Commissioner’s Cup game, which SMB won, 131-127, in triple overtime.

Santos returned to action for the Beermen last Sunday but registered just six points on 3-of-10 shooting and three rebounds in 22 minutes in the Beermen’s blowout loss to Ginebra.

The former league MVP played better against the Road Warriors, tallying 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting and two rebounds before fouling out after 28 minutes of action.

“Nung (unang) naglaro ako, hindi pa ako fully recovered. Tapos ngayon, medyo nakaka-recover na,” Santos said.

“Pero hindi ganun kadali ang lahat eh,” he was quick to add. “Kasi ang mama ko, isa 'yun sa malaking ugat na nakadugtong sa puso ko.”

“Ngayon, naghahanap ako ng mga maliliit na ugat para matugunan yun – sa teammates ko,  sa fans, at sa pamilya ko. Dun ko huhugutin yun.”

And he expressed gratitude to his supporters for sticking with him in his time of grief.

“Pinapasalamatan ko yung teammates ko na in-offer nila yung suporta nila na alam nila pag balik ko, hindi pa ako fully recovered,” Santos said.

“Pero nandun pa rin sila, sa practice, kinakausap nila ako, sinusbukan nila akong maibalik yung pag-iisip.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos