Arwind Santos Analysis: Mind games, but the mind was left off

Arwind Santos has been slapped with a bunch of penalties after his racist gesture against Terrence Jones (Photo courtesy of

By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

We Filipinos are known to be respectful and display tons of humility when a foreign visitor would come, giving them our maximum effort just to guarantee their comfort.

Behind the positive stereotypes of us Filipinos, we also have furious sides in us, which we got from our forefathers who were just too resilient against invaders from other countries who tried to conquer our motherland.

The character of being “palaban” was instilled in us a long time ago.

What’s funny is being kids, our grandfathers and uncles would always force us to fight back whenever we are getting bullied in school.

In the world of PH basketball, it’s the same principle.

Imports claim they love to play in the PBA because of the physicality.

The brand of physicality that the Philippine Basketball Association brings marked something in them, and we admit that we have a different level of banging in the country.

Players sacrifice bodies and dive for balls like there’s no tomorrow, with blood and sweat and tears being shed just to grab the leather.

As PBA progressed, players learned to be physical without directly hitting the opposing player on purpose, without bodies crashing to the floor, and without blood.

To avoid getting tossed by the referee and face further consequences, players learned to developed mental warfare.

Mental warfare is a tactical use of the psychological side of a person, inflicting a thought or idea to the opposition that will trigger him/her which will result in a negative or positive result.

During the fifth game of the 2019 PBA Finals between the San Miguel Beermen and the TNT Katropa, Arwind Santos, one of SMB’s main gunners, did something that triggered TNT import Terrence Jones that insulted him in many ways.

Santos, in the sidelines, did a “monkey” gesture to taunt Jones.

When asked by the media if he has intentions of insulting Jones with the taunt or any sort, Santos said that it was all part of the mind games they are deploying against the Best Import of the conference.

On the other hand, Jones issued a bold statement toward Santos and addressed the PBA.

He said that it was no mind games in what Santos did.

It was pure racism and that hurt Jones a lot, as a black father with a child of Filipino descent.

After Jones’ statement, Santos was quick with his response expressing his deepest apologies to Jones and his family, the PBA, TNT, and SMB fans.

With Santos’ unsportsmanlike conduct, the PBA slapped him with a 200,000 peso fine, counseling for his “monkey” taunt, and community service.

The irony is real.

Remember the Gilas and Boomers brawl? What did the PH squad claim that triggered them to initiate trading blows?

It was because a player from Australia called one of our players “monkey.”

I hope that Santos would embody his apologies and be a better person for the sport.

Enough of the monkey business.