Arwind Santos with his former San Miguel teammates and coaches during his jersey retirement ceremony with the Beermen. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Arwind Santos officially got his jersey retired by San Miguel on Wednesday at Philsports Arena and if he has anything to say about it, this shouldn’t be the last jersey retirement on the Beermen front anytime soon.

At the half of San Miguel’s 124-109 trouncing of Blackwater in the PBA Philippine Cup, Santos was celebrated by the Beermen by having his #29 jersey retired for the franchise.

While Santos was ecstatic to have his name be included in San Miguel history’s elite company, he didn’t fail to acknowledge the figures who were present for the special occasion.

READ: PBA: After jersey retirement, Arwind Santos not ruling out return

Chris Ross, Marcio Lassiter and June Mar Fajardo were there, of course. But another person present in Pasig was Alex Cabagnot.

Put all of them in the same room and you get that old feeling of greatness running through the entire vicinity. It was them that was famously dubbed as the “Death 5,” a lineup that gave the Beermen multiple titles from the mid to late 2010s.

Seeing his number be retired by San Miguel was sweet but should other members of the fabled “Death 5” also have their numbers retired? The “Spiderman” certainly thinks so.

“If you ask me, of course. Because of how good our bond was, I want the ‘Death 5’ [jersey numbers] retired too but I don’t really get to decide that,” said Santos in Filipino.

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“But they all know that [I want that], I think based on how I know Marcio, Alex and Ross, they’re already happy with the moments we made that couldn’t really be done by others.”

Bannered by seven-time league MVP, Fajardo ran the tides with Santos, Cabagnot, Ross and Lassiter to write several stories for the Beermen franchise in winning fashion.

With tactician Leo Austria at the helm of San Miguel’s head coaching post, the Beermen won the 2014 Philippine Cup at the expense of now-defunct Alaska after seven games with the “Death 5” leading the way.

Arwind Santos during his San Miguel jersey retirement ceremony

Arwind Santos during his San Miguel jersey retirement ceremony. –PBA IMAGES

Little did the San Miguel faithful know how dominant the five-man lineup would be as they won Austria and San Miguel six more times in five years.

Santos, who’s already on a high after seeing his jersey go up the rafters, recalled the journey and said not every player could do what they did at that point in time.

This further proves the point that they should also have their numbers retired.

“Not everyone can land a good team, achieve championships, have historical moments like the ‘Beeracle,’ those alone are enough for us,” Santos said.

Now only three out of the five players in that lineup are playing for the Beermen: Lassiter, Ross and Fajardo.

Still, Santos said he feels something special with the current Beermen team under coach Jorge Gallent.



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Like the Austria-led team of old, Santos also feels like the current San Miguel squad can win more championships than expected.

“With what I’m seeing now for San Miguel, they’re still contenders, they can still bag numerous championships. When I watch my teammates, it’s like I’m also there inside [the court], that’s how I imagine it,” he said.

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