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Arwind Santos enters elite 700 Blocks Club

A block on the driving Stanley Pringle with 4:31 left in the first quarter brought Arwind Santos to an elite club of the best rim protectors in the PBA. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Arwind Santos only made one block during the entirety of the GlobalPort-San Miguel game in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday night.

However, that block turned out be a historic one as he breached into the 700 Blocks Club, an elite group which had only nine members prior to his swat.

"Pang sakto ba iyon? Kaya pala sinadyang maka-isa lang ako, eh," Santos joked following the game.

Turning serious, however, Santos added, "Thankful ako na nasa pang-sampu na ako. Nakakatuwa naman. Sana naman magtuloy-tuloy."

Santos became the first player since Ali Peek to reach the 700-block plateau, but since Peek has long been retired, Santos is now the total blocks leader among the active players.

"Thankful din on the side na active pa ako," continued the 36-year-old Santos.

What made the feat even sweeter is that the Beermen pulled away late to beat the Batang Pier for a 5-0 start to the conference.

[Related Story: 18-0 blast lifts SMB over GlobalPort as Cebu's "gems" shine]

"Tuloy-tuloy parin yung panalo namin," Santos further said. "Hindi kami pwedeng mag-relax kahit 5-0 na kami, dapat dere-derecho lang."

Meanwhile, with the Philippine Cup just on the midway phase of the eliminations, Santos has a huge chance of surpassing Yoyoy Villamin, who had 709 rejections in total, for ninth in the all-time blocks list before the end of the conference.

Santos can also overtake Peek, who retired with 784 swats, at number eight before he calls it a career.

Those possibilities serve as a motivation for Santos, currently one of the game's elite defenders, as his career goes along.

"Habang naglalaro ako, sasamantalahin ko. Hindi pwede yung mentality na ‘OK na ‘yun, naabot ko na ‘yun, eh.’ Kasi isa rin ‘yun sa attitude ko kasi lalo na may goal ang team namin," he vowed. "In a good side, maganda yung attention ko na hindi ako humihinto at may mga gusto ako patunayan na gusto ko habulin yung nine."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno