SAN MIGUEL BEERMEN
#29 / 6'4'' / F
FAR EASTERN UNIVERSITY
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Amateur career High school career Born in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines, Santos played for Lubao Institute during his high school career and won the West Central Zone Championship. In 2000, he became well known during zonal competitions because of his hardwork on the basketball court. He was then included in the line up of RQP (Rodolfo Q. Pineda) Team, a local ball club in Lubao under the supervision of Dennis 'Delta' Pineda, who is also a supporter of San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stags and the one responsible for landing the Pinatubo Trio composed of Calvin Abueva, Ronald Pascual and Ian Sangalang in the NCAA. Pineda helped him in college and landed him a spot in the FEU Tamaraws men's basketball team. College career Santos arrived at the UAAP scene in 2002 with the FEU Tamaraws where he won Rookie of the Year honors. With the Tamaraws struggling to enter the Final Four, he was still able to put up a decent performance. One of the highlights of his freshman year was a game-tying three against the eventual champion Ateneo Blue Eagles. In 2003, he led the Tamaraws to the UAAP title for the first time in six seasons, sweeping the Blue Eagles in the process. He was a candidate to win the Most Valuable Player Award, but was beaten by University of the East star James Yap. However, by leading the Tamaraws to the title, he was named Finals MVP. He was also named Defensive Player of the Year and was part of the Mythical Five together with season MVP Yap, Rich Alvarez, Paul Artadi, and Reynaldo Mendoza. He would win the Most Valuable Player award the next season (2004) but the Tamaraws lost to the De La Salle Green Archers in three crucial games. However, with the controversy that surrounded the Archers, the title was then awarded to FEU. He also made it to the UAAP Mythical Five alongside Mark Cardona, LA Tenorio, Paolo Bugia and Dennis Miranda. In his last year (2005) in the UAAP, he again led the team to the title by sweeping the Green Archers in an anticipated championship rematch against La Salle, thereby giving the Tamaraws a three-peat from 2003–2005. He was awarded Season MVP and Finals MVP for that season, and was also named to the Mythical Five with Mark Isip, Tenorio, Edwin Asoro and Joseph Yeo. He is one of the only two players in the FEU Tamaraws that had his jersey (#19) retired. The other one was Johnny Abarrientos. Philippine Basketball League In 2003, Santos made his PBL debut for Viva Mineral Water, a team composed of fellow FEU teammates. After a slow start, he led the Water Force all the way to the PBL Unity Cup Finals, where they lost in five games to Hapee Toothpaste. In 2004, he led Viva to its first PBL crown defeating Welcoat Paints in the 2004 Unity Cup. He was adjudged PBL MVP of the tournament and was part of the 2004 Mythical Five alongside former PBA players Jojo Tangkay and Chester Tolomia and teammates Miranda and Isip. In 2006, he led Magnolia Ice Cream to the PBL Heroes Cup title, coming back from 0-2 deficit to defeat Welcoat Paints. In the PBL Unity Cup, Magnolia made an early exit. However, he still made the Mythical Second Team in his final PBL conference. PBA career In the 2006 PBA draft, Santos was selected second overall by the Air21 Express. He later signed a deal to play his first three seasons with the team, playing alongside Ranidel de Ocampo, Yancy de Ocampo, and KG Canaleta. He chose to wear the number 29 since his usual number 19 was already worn by Wynne Arboleda. He ranked first among rookies in scoring during the Philippine Cup and almost led the Express to a quarterfinals appearance only to lose against the Sta. Lucia Realtors in a knockout match. He wound up with averages of 14.2 points per game (ppg), 8.3 rebounds per game (rpg), 0.9 assists per game (apg), 0.8 steals per game (spg), and 1.2 blocks per game (bpg). Because of his sterling play, he made it to the Mythical Second Team as well as the All-Defensive Team. Santos was one of the leading contenders for the Rookie of the Year honors at the season's end with the likes of Sta. Lucia's Kelly Williams and Welcoat's Jay-R Reyes as among the possible winners. Williams eventually won the ROY award. But Santos was part of the All-Rookie Team together with Williams, Jay-R Reyes, Jireh Ibañes and LA Tenorio. In the 2007–08 season, Santos and Williams faced each other again for the Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference (BPC) award by finishing No. 1 and 2 in the statistical points (SPs). However, despite trailing in the SPs department, Williams would win the award with Santos finishing No. 2 just like in the previous year's rookie race. Santos eventually posted numbers of 16.3 ppg (8th-best), 9.6 rpg (4th best), 1.7 apg, 1.2 spg (8th-best) and 1.5 bpg (2nd-best) on the way to earning a berth in both the Mythical First Five and All-Defensive Team. He also won the Defensive Player of the Year award. He led the Express team to a runner-up finish against Barangay Ginebra together with import Steve Thomas in the Fiesta Cup. At season's end, Santos and Williams battled it out again, this time for the MVP award, which went again to Williams (2762 points) as against Santos' 1775 points. This would be the third time that Williams edged out Santos in the race for a major award (2006-07 ROY and 2007-08 Philippine Cup BPC). In the 2008–09 season, Santos averaged 16.7 ppg, 7.8 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.2 spg and 1.1 bpg. By virtue of his consistent play, Santos made it to the Mythical First Team for the second year in a row and the All-Defensive Team for the third straight year. This year would prove to be his last year with the Express team. During the off season Arwind Santos finally got his wish to play for the San Miguel Beermen, the winningest team in the history of the Philippine Basketball Association. None among the officials confirmed the trade although a highly placed source revealed that Santos was shipped to the Beermen in exchange for 6'5" power forward Marc Pingris, 6'6" sophomore center Ken Bono and San Miguel's 2010 first round pick. In the 2009–10 season, his first year with the San Miguel franchise, he shared stellar minutes with the likes of Jay Washington, Dondon Hontiveros, Danny Seigle and Alex Cabagnot. Because of this his averages dipped a bit as he posted averages of 14.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.1 spg and 1.2 bpg. He again made it to the Mythical First Team (3rd-straight) and All-Defensive Team (4th time in 4 years). In the first round of the 2010–11 Philippine Cup, San Miguel compiled an 11-3 record while Santos averaged 16.6 points per game. In the 2011 PBA Governors Cup, he was awarded with the Best Player of the Conference. He also led his team to an improbable championship in the Governor's Cup conference over the highly favored Talk 'N Text team who were aiming to complete a rare grand slam. In so doing, he was named the Phoenix Fuels-PBA Press Corps Finals MVP. At season's end, Santos posted averages of 15.3 ppg, 10.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg and 1.3 bpg on the way to earning berths in the Mythical First Team and All-Defensive Team for the 4th and 5th year in a row, respectively. Due to his strong showing, he was a prime candidate for the MVP award alongside Barangay Ginebra's Mark Caguioa and Talk 'N Text's Jimmy Alapag. However, in the end, Santos finished a close second to Alapag in the MVP derby with 1,687 points as against the latter's 1,888 points. Caguioa finished a close 3rd with 1,317 points. In the 2011–12 season, Santos led Petron Blaze Boosters to a pair of semifinal showings in the PBA Philippine Cup and PBA Governors Cup in a rather disappointing season for him and the team that led to speculations that coach Agustin is now on the way out. However, individually, Santos had another good season posting averages of 15.00 ppg (690 points in 46 games), 10.67 rpg (491 rebounds), 1.33 apg (61 assists), 0.91 spg (42 steals) and 1.43 blkpg (66 blocks). Because of his sterling performance, he was again amply rewarded at season's end with another Mythical First Team citation, his 5th in his 6 years in the league, and his 6th consecutive membership in the All-Defensive Team. He was again a strong candidate for the coveted MVP award by placing second in the statistical points behind Gary David of Powerade Tigers. However, in the final balloting, Santos ended up in 4th place behind eventual MVP Caguioa of Barangay Ginebra, David and James Yap of B-Meg Llamados. This was the second straight year that Santos and Caguioa figured prominently for the highest individual accolade. In the 2012–13 season, Santos led the Petron Blaze Boosters to a runner-up finish in the season-ending Governors Cup against the San Mig Coffee Mixers in a series that went the distance, 3-4. While his team lost the championship, Santos bagged his second BPC award in the season-ending Governor's Cup by edging out teammates June Mar Fajardo and Alex Cabagnot. After 5 years of frustration by coming out as bridesmaid in the MVP balloting, he finally won his first-ever MVP award with a total of 2,840 points beating out Barangay Ginebra's LA Tenorio (2,819) and Talk N' Text's Jayson Castro (1,682). He also made it to the Mythical First Team for the sixth straight year and the All-Defensive Team for the seventh straight year. During the season, Santos also claimed the All-Star MVP alongside Jeff Chan. In the Philippine Cup of the 2014–15 PBA season, Santos led the San Miguel Beermen to the championship alongside current MVP June Mar Fajardo in a grueling 7-game series against the Alaska Aces. For his consistent play in the Finals, Santos was named the Petron Sprint 4T Finals MVP by posting averages of 18.5 points, 9.7 rebounds, 2.5 blocks, 2.2 assists and 1.4 steals, his second Finals MVP award. International career He also suited up for the Philippine National Team a couple of times under coach Chot Reyes in 2006 with the likes of LA Tenorio and Joseph Yeo and competed in the 28th Jones Cup but didn't make it to the final line up in 2007. In 2009, he was included to the Powerade Team Pilipinas under Coach Yeng Guiao wherein the team landed 8th overall in the 2009 FIBA Asia Championship. In August 2010, Santos, along with other PBA players, was considered as a possible reinforcement for Smart Gilas, as the developmental Philippine national basketball team was looking to make the squad more competitive. Santos also suited up for the PBA All-Stars in the NBA-Asia Challenge 2009 dubbed as "NBA Generations vs. PBA All-Stars" held last September 11, 2009 at the Araneta Coliseum. The NBA Generations team featured NBA legends Dominique Wilkins, Tim Hardaway, Vlade Divac and Robert Horry and coached by NBA six-time MVP and Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Making up the PBA All-Stars line-up were PBA legends Alvin Patrimonio, Allan Caidic, Ronnie Magsanoc, Benjie Paras and Kenneth Duremdes and active players Santos, Wynne Arboleda, Japeth Aguilar, Dondon Hontiveros, Jay-R Reyes, Marc Pingris, Enrico Villanueva, Sonny Thoss, Willie Miller and Joseph Yeo. The NBA Generations defeated the PBA All-Stars 109-86 behind the efforts of Wilkins (28 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals) and Horry (10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists). The PBA All-Stars were led by Caidic, Miller and Hontiveros with 15, 14 and 10 points, respectively while Santos scored 5 points. Santos was again selected to play in the NBA-Asia Challenge 2010 where the two teams, Red and White, were composed of a mixture of NBA and PBA legends as well as NBA D-Leaguers and active PBA players. Making up the Red team were NBA legends Glen Rice and Gary Payton, D-leaguers Darnell Lazare and Chris McCray reinforced by PBA legends Caidic, Vergel Meneses, Atoy Co and active players like Santos, Rico Maierhofer and LA Tenorio while the White team was composed of NBA legends Chris Webber and Mitch Richmond with help from D-leaguers Richie Frahm, who was also a former PBA import, and Mark Tyndale and PBA legends Paras, Magsanoc, Patrimonio and active players Hontiveros and Ronald Tubid. Santos fired 16 points along with Meneses as they supported Caidic who scored 54 points including 14 3-point shots as the Red team walloped the White team 177-167. In 2012, Santos was listed to the 16-man pool requested by Chot Reyes to be included in the Smart Gilas Pilipinas 2.0. He was unable to sign the commitment letter due to the Petron management's disapproval.