I’m just amazed at how level-headed Arwind Santos was in handling the “choking” incident he had with Petron teammate and import Renaldo Balkman during the final 21.6 seconds of the match where the Boosters lost to the Alaska Aces, 73-83.
His action was in stark contrast with Balkman, who went ballistic in the waning seconds of the match that saw him shove his teammate Ronald Tubid and Petron assistant coach Biboy Ravanes as well.
The Petron forward was obviously, surprised, shocked and even hurt by that, considering that it was his teammate who did that to him in front of a stunned crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
But Santos just shared what’s inside of him in a text message to me, awhile ago: “Kaya nga ako nagsori na rin sa kanya (Balkman). Mahalaga kc sakin ang goal ng team namin. At para kay God at sa mga supporters namin.
Even at that point where he was hurt and all, Santos still thought about his team rather than himself. And that’s what makes it a class act in itself for Santos.
It would have been easy for him to retaliate after the game, considering that Balkman’s actions humiliated him in front of his mother Arceli and the thousands of people who watched the game live at the Big Dome and on their television screen.
As the Petron coaching staff led by head coach Olsen Racela meets with management this weekend to tackle the pressing issue on Balkman and what action they will have to take, hopefully, the team won’t just take this thing lightly.
Whether it’s a hefty fine, a suspension, or the worst case scenario of sending Balkman home, the important thing now is for Petron management to make a decision that will deal with the problem at its root. And whatever decision the team management will make, will determine what Petron values.
Photo Courtesy of Jerome Ascano at www.spin.ph