Teary-Eyed MVP Santos admits struggle in playing small forward position

MANILA – All conference long, PBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Arwind Santos has been playing uneasily in a task which is a bit distant to his natural power-forward position

A teary-eyed Santos, during a chat with Solar Sports Desk inside their locker room moments after his Petron’s 114-103 Game 5 defeat to San Mig Coffee, has revealed it has been somewhat a struggle for him playing the small forward position this conference.

“Nung huling nag-champion kami, kwatro ako nun. That time, hindi problema ang bola sa akin pati sa rebounds,” said Santos. “Ngayon kasi tres ako kaya hindi mo ako maasahan na kumuha ng rebounds.”
Petron’s last title was the 2011 Governors’ Cup conference where in that season, the 32-year-old Pampanga native dribbler averaged 15.3 points and 10.7 rebounds under then coach Ato Agustin.

Overall this season, Santos has actually tallied career-best averages of 17.4 ppg and 12 rpg. But the Blaze Boosters had two different coaches in Rajko Toroman and Olsen Racela, which meant two different systems the first two conferences.

A dip in Santos’ numbers are evident this conference after he has been apparently asked to play the small forward spot.

In 18 games thus far this tournament, Santos has registered 11.8 ppg and 7.5 rpg.

“Hindi ko alam kailan ang dating ng bola sa akin dahil madalas tumatakbo kami at maraming ikot ng bola kaya nawawala din ako,” revealed Santos.

But Santos reiterated that he is not blaming anyone regarding his slump, specifically this Finals where he’s been averaging eight points and 2.8 rebounds in five games.

“Siympre tao lang tayo. Naapekuthan tayo sa game kaya siguro kailangan ko mga kasama ko. Sana tulungan nila ako at magtiwala pa din,” said Santos.

“Sana bukas sa ensayo hindi ko maipakita kasi ayoko silang mahawa.”

Santos also admits the MVP award which was given to him in last Friday’s Leo Awards before Game Four at the MOA Arena could have been a factor since.

“Pakiramdam ko parang naging distraction yung MVP. Talagang nilalabanan ko emosyon ko,” said Santos. Source

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