Arwind Santos has become the PBA player that everyone loves to hate.
In just four games of the 2018 PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals, no other player has received more jeers and taunts than the one-time MVP. The raucous pro-Ginebra crowd would often go nuts when something unsavory comes Santos’ way – particularly when he got posterized by Greg Slaughter in the first quarter of Game 4.
Santos is indeed one of the league’s premiere local talents; a do-it-all forward who can score at will, handle the dirty work, and defend all five positions on the floor. But his outspoken nature and penchant for spewing plenty of quotable lines usually rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
You see, while most PBA players usually let their games do the talking, Santos does the complete opposite thing. In fact, the former Far Eastern University ‘King Tamaraw’ has become a post-game favorite among the media for his reputation of not holding back with his comments.
FOX Sports PH lists down three incidents that turned Santos into public enemy number one among the Ginebra hopefuls.
The ‘shadow’ remarks
After a 95-87 loss to Ginebra in Game 3 of the Philippine Cup Semifinals last March, Santos exhibited his classic case of verbal diarrhea, claiming that their opponents received a much-needed boost from the game officials.
“What went wrong? Medyo ano eh. Parang may mga shadow yung mga players kanina eh. Parang yung lima nagiging walo,” he told reporters after the game.
“Kaya parang nahihirapan kami bantayan kasi lima lang yung kalaban, pero nagiging walo. Ewan ko kung sobrang bilis kaya may shadow?”
The PBA brass slapped Santos with a hefty P20,000 fine for comments detrimental to the league.
Arwind, however, would get the last laugh, as the Beermen emerged victorious in the next three games and won the championship against Magnolia in the following series.
Flagrant 2 against Thompson, post-game words
Santos once again fell on the bad graces of the Ginebra fanbase when he made a seemingly unnecessary contact with crowd favorite Scottie Thompson.
With SMB comfortably ahead 119-95 in Game 2 of the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup Finals, Santos threw an elbow/shoulder block to Thompson’s sternum, which sent him crashing to floor and writhing in pain.
The 37-year-old Pampanga native was ejected after the incident, and peeved fans even more with his unapologetic remarks.
“Ang rules, above the shoulder pwede mag F2 (flagrant foul penalty 2) at closed fist,” Santos pleaded his case before heading to the dugout.
“Tignan niyo naman ginawa ko, tagal ko nang naglalaro. Yung gaganituhin mo sa gitna kasi magbibigay ako ng screen pero binigyan ako ng F2,” he added.
Santos was fined P5,000 for the hit, but was spared from sanctions after the league downgraded the foul to a flagrant 1.
“Bilib na bilib sila sa akin”
Perhaps the coup de grace of Ginebra fans’ indifference with the candid forward might stem from his latest remarks, where he stated that his hecklers are just in awe of his talent.
“Baliktad lang ‘yung acceptance ko doon. Feeling ko fans sila ng San Miguel pag hinahawakan ko ‘yung bola – na bilib na bilib sila sa akin. Parang ganoon lang ‘yun,” Santos described the boos.
The PBA’s ‘Spiderman’ even went as far as suggesting that opposing fans actually have nothing but love for him.
“‘Di ko iniintindi na galit na galit sila, ‘yung pag-boo nila sa akin. Feeling ko ‘yung boo nila, automatic for me is ‘I love you.'”