By Jonas Terrado
San Miguel Beer forward Arwind Santos couldn’t help but find humor in his verbal exchange with TNT KaTropa import Terrence Jones during Game 4 of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
Jones figured in a heated exchange Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum when he shouted at Santos after being fouled with 6:47 remaining in the fourth quarter of the contest won by the Beermen, 106-101.
The Best Import winner yelled at Santos with such intensity that it was heard during the television broadcast.
Officials slapped both players with a technical foul for taunting.
“Pinaamoy lang niya hininga niya sa akin,” said Santos. “Amoy Amerika; amoy burger.”
(“He just let me smell his breath. His breath smells like America; his breath smells like burger.”)
“Ganun talaga pagka-minsan nagkakainitan. Gulatan lang naman kung sino. Ano, lang part lang ng game yun. Kaya lang mas malakas siyang bumuga kesa sa akin,” added Santos.
Santos was the latest SMB player to play mind games with Jones after Chris Ross and Christian Standhardinger spent most of the series trying to get under Jones’ skin.
The 2013 Most Valuable Player also echoed what Ross said earlier in the Finals, that he will try to see if Jones will throw a fit.
But Santos concedes that Jones is just too good at keeping his composure.
“Ano rin siya, umiiwas din sa mga taunting. At saka yung mga tinginan ng mata sa mata, ayaw niya e. Marunong din,” he said. “Ano lang, pag may mga ganung scenario, sinasamantala namin. Tinitignan namin kung sino mapipikon.”
(“He’s good at trying to avoid getting into taunting incidents. But we keep trying to take advantage of those kind of scenarios to see which player loses his cool.”)
Santos didn’t say if he felt in danger at any point during the shouting match with Jones, considering that a similar verbal tussle resulted in Santos’ own Petron import Renaldo Balkman grabbing his neck during a meltdown back in March 2013.
The incident wasn’t as tense as those that transpired between Jones and Ross, who called the TNT reinforcement a “baby” after being headbutted in the first quarter of Friday’s Game 3.
Jones was later fined P20,000 after the PBA upgraded the infraction as a Flagrant Foul 2.
Both players were able to keep themselves away from engaging in another heated moment.