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    Arwind Santos glad to guide 'bilas' Russel Escoto in SMB team-up

    Jan 14, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

    AFTER enjoying a rare semifinal appearance with NorthPort, Russel Escoto begins his biggest break in the PBA yet –joining a San Miguel Beer team that's accustomed to winning.

    The 27-year-old forward was acquired by the Beermen last Thursday after a one-on-one trade with Fil-Am bruiser Kelly Nabong, who was sent back to the Batang Pier.

    “Happy ako kasi San Miguel ‘to eh, champion team ‘to. Bagong pakikisama pero sa tingin ko naman madali lang mabuo kasi mababait naman at madaling pakisamahan ‘yung mga players at mga coaches ng SMB,” Escoto said after his first practice with the team on Tuesday.

    He added: “Looking forward sa winning mentality ng team na 'to kasi sobrang talented nila, talagang marami akong matutunan dito.”

    Although surprised when he first found out about the trade – as he just established his chemistry with the Batang Pier, Escoto shared that he’s ready to turn the tables around and equip himself with the San Miguel’s system.

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    “’Nung una malungkot kasi ‘yung pinagsamahan ko don nabuo na, na-surprise ako kasi di ko naman inexpect na lilipat ako, pero wala akong magagawa di naman natin desisyon yon,” he said. “Pero sabi nga ni coach [Leo Austria], ready lang ako, know my strength lang and focus lang don sa outside shooting kasi ‘yun ‘yung magiging role ko, at maitutulong ko sa team, magpapalakas pa ‘ko lalo.”

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      Escoto is also thrilled to team-up with bilas Arwind Santos.

      “Kasama ko pa si kuya [Arwind], isang team na lang chini-cheer ng family namin, pero para sakin, sinasabi ko lang sa sarili ko na dapat everyday mag-improve ako, ‘di ko kinkompara sarili ko sa ibang tao,” he said.

      Santos, on the other hand, is as excited to play with his brother-in-law, and has shared high hopes for the young forward’s future with SMB.

      “Makikita mo sa kaniya na talagang ganado rin siya. Kami suporta lang. Syempre gusto ko yun kahit papano makatulong siya and sana dito na rin siya mag-stay o makapaglaro siya ng matagal dito sa PBA, syempre masaya ako don. Pwede naman natin i-share yung mga kaunting kaalaman natin sa kaniya, para at the same time, yung San Miguel matulungan din niya nang husto,” Santos said.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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