THEY may not be the best of pals, but Arwind Santos said he felt for Jay Washington when he learned the Petron forward was part of Tuesday’s major deal that also involved another big man in Japeth Aguilar.
Santos admitted he was surprised when Petron sent Washington to Globalport for rookie Jason Deustchman in a multi-player deal that also saw Ginebra get Aguilar in exchange for Yousif Taha and a 2013 first-round pick.
“Nagulat nga din ako. Siyempre hindi ko naiwasang malungkot, kaso hindi namin kontrolado yan eh,” admitted Santos, who celebrated his 32nd birthday on Monday.
The two play the same position and therefore competed for minutes at Petron. Santos admitted he and Washington had a misunderstanding in the past, but insisted it had since been ironed out.
“Ayoko namang sabihin na okay ako dahil nawala si Jaywash,” he said. “Pero nag-usap na kami dati. Okay na kami.”
Reports said Santos felt uneasy playing alongside Washington, who was on the injured list when the Lubao, Pampanga native led the Boosters to the 2011 Governors’ Cup championship.
“Hindi naman siguro ganun, nagkataon lang yun,” stressed the soft-spoken Santos.
“Nagkataon lang rin kasi na pareho kami ng pwesto na nilalaro, tapos pareho pa kaming gustong maglaro para sa team,” he added. “Pero wala sa amin `yun. Nag-usap na kami tungkol dun.”
With Washington out, Santos believes the team will have to undergo another adjustment phase.
“Kailangang mag-adjust na naman kami ng rotation, kasi wala na si JayWash,” he stressed.
As for his birthday wish, Santos said he hopes to play basketball at a high level until the age 40.
“Kaya ko yun. Alam ko naman disiplinahin sarili ko,” said the former Far Eastern University King Tamaraw, who allots more than two hours of exercise and training programs each day, even during the offseason.