LAST season, Petron Blaze forward Arwind Santos made it to his fifth straight Mythical First Team, making him the player with the most number of Mythical First Team selections in league history not to have won the MVP award.
Aside from Santos, the other players who have had at least five Mythical First Team selections were Ramon Fernandez (13), Alvin Patrimonio (10), Atoy Co (nine), Bogs Adornado (seven), Philip Cezar (seven), Sonny Jaworski (six), Allan Caidic (six), Johnny Abarrientos (six), Benjie Paras (five), Abet Guidaben (five) and Ricardo Brown (five).
But all of them had won the MVP at least once in their careers.
No other non-MVP winner in league history has had more than three Mythical First Team selections.
Santos has finished second in the MVP race thrice in the last five seasons – to Sta. Lucia’s Kelly Williams in 2008, Barangay Ginebra’s Jayjay Helterbrand in 2009 and Talk ‘N Text’s Jimmy Alapag in last year.
That was after he also finished second to Williams in 2007 for the Rookie of the Year award while still with Air21, which ironically also drafted him second behind Williams in the 2006 rookie draft.
The two-time UAAP MVP and Defensive Player of the Year also finished second to Helterbrand in the Best Player of the Conference race in the 2009 Fiesta Conference while still with Burger King.
He finally won the BPC plum in last year’s Governors Cup with Petron Blaze but lost to Alapag in the race for season MVP honors. In the 2011-12 Philippine Cup that followed, he was back to playing bridesmaid in the BPC race, finishing second to Powerade’s Gary David.
A native of Pampanga, Santos was named to the Mythical Second Team in his rookie year which means he has actually been named to the Mythical Team every season since he turned pro.
In PBA history, only one other player made it to the Mythical Team in his first six seasons in the league – Great Taste’s Brown who did the trick from 1983 to 1988. But Brown was named MVP in 1985.
Will the 2012-13 season be any different for Santos?