SMB coach giving Arwind Santos all the time to grieve over mother's death
“Talagang depressed siya dahil he loved his mother very much,” San Miguel coach Leo Austria says of Beermen star Arwind Santos. Jerome Ascano

SAN Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria is letting Arwind Santos take all the time he needs as the SMB star forward recovers emotionally from the death of his mother, Araceli.

Santos has been absent from practice since Monday when his mom passed away due to a lung condition that had been recurring since March of last year when she collapsed in the middle of an SMB game against Talk ‘N Text.

The Beermen return to action in the Commissioner’s Cup on Easter Sunday against sister squad Star.

“He’s contemplating kung maglalaro ba siya o hindi, but I told him that I won’t force him to play,” Austria said. “What’s important is his condition.”

“Buti na lang, this is the eliminations pa lang,” he added. “As of now, we can’t assure kung ano gusto niyang gawin.”

[See No break for the motivated as SMB practices on Maundy Thursday]

Santos has been overseeing the wake of her mother, who was cremated on Thursday.

“Talagang depressed siya dahil he loved his mother very much,” Austria said. “Emotionally, wala siya sa sarili. Kinuwento niya yung mga nangyari sa kanya nung time na nag-struggle yung kanyang mother.”

“We will support Arwind all the way,” he added, saying the Beermen have been in the same situation a few times before, the most recent just in their first game in the Philippine Cup when Alex Cabagnot was excused to tend to his departed grandmother and uncle, who passed away in the same week.

“Nagkakaintindihan naman sila (teammates),” Austria said. “They know they have a job na gagawin.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos