San Miguel Beer coach Leo Austria isn’t expecting veteran forward Arwind Santos to play heavy minutes when the one-time league Most Valuable Player sees action for the first time in the PBA Governors Cup.
The 6-foot-4 Santos missed the team’s first 4 games this conference after undergoing a minor knee operation during the break.
But the former Far Eastern University has since been doing knee strengthening and rehab.
“Binalik namin si Arwind sa lineup and sabi ko, at least man lang, maka-provide ng quality minutes. Excited din ang lahat para sa kanya,” Austria told FOX Sports on Thursday.
The three-time PBA champion coach said the sweet-shooting SMB forward joined the team’s practice on Tuesday to finally get the feel of the five-on-five drills.
“I’m not in a hurry (to play Santos heavy minutes) but he can play anytime naman. He’s a good help naman sa team at nami-miss namin yung veteran presence niya,” added Austria, the 1985 PBA Rookie of the Year.
The Beermen will return to action on Sunday against the red-hot Barangay Ginebra Kings at the Mall of Asia Arena. SMB currently totes a 3-1 record, having registered a 109-100 victory over sister team Star Hotshots on July 31.
The 35-year-old Santos averaged 12.67 points, 7.56 rebounds, 1.74 assists and 1.54 blocks during the first 2 conferences this season. – Richard Dy
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