Santos reminded of rags-to-riches story as he accepts first MVP award in PBA

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MANILA  -- For Arwind Santos, the long overdue Most Valuable Player award added more color to his inspiring rags-to-riches tale.


After a fine seven-year career in the PBA which saw him bag two Best Player of the Conference citations and a finals MVP plum, Santos cemented his legacy with his first MVP award.

“Maraming salamat po sa award. Nabigyan po ng kulang ang buhay ko [Thank you so much for this. This gave color to my life],” said Santos in his acceptance speech.

Santos nipped Ginebra guard LA Tenorio by just 21 points in a collated tally of statistical points, votes from media, players and PBA office.

He also stretched his record of making the mythical first team and all-defensive team for the sixth straight year, according to the PBA head statistician Fidel Mangonon.

As he stepped off the stage at the Mall of Asia Arena, Santos knelt on the court and lifted the trophy and pointed up to the sky.

He said he was reminded of how he turned from selling scraps (bakal bote), working at carwash and driving the pedicab, among others, for a living in Pampanga to a successful basketball player.

“Lahat po dinanas ko. Lahat po ginawa ko para mabuhay po kaming pamilya nung oras na yun [I experienced everything and did everything for my family],” said Santos.

And the award, Santos said, was a testament of how hard work and opportunities through basketball could change one’s life.

“Ito po ang nagsasabi na kahit mahirap may chance po makuha ang award na to. Sana po naispire ko kayo. [This proves that even if you're poor, you have a chance. I hope I inspired you].”