Jones, Santos move on

Arwind Santos and Terrence Jones kiss and make up during Game 6 of the PBA finals series. (PBANBAU)

Terrence Jones may have lost the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup title to San Miguel Beer, but he will leave the country with peace of mind.

The KaTropa reinforcement said he already accepted the apology of Arwind Santos, who taunted him with a racial slur in the crucial stretch of Game 5 of their best-of-seven finals series last Wednesday.

Santos approached the former Houston Rocket moments before Game 6 to personally apologize for his gesture, which drew flak not only from the former member of the Houston Rockets, but also from other Filipino-American players in the league.

PBA commissioner Willie Marcial, however, cracked the whip, slapping him with P200,000 penalty on top of 100 hours community service and seminar on racial discrimination.

Jones said he recognized Santos’ gesture and was glad that this sorry episode is finally over.

“He apologized, but it was close to game time and at that point, I was already in game mode,” said Jones after erupting for 41 points in TNT KaTropa’s 90-102 loss in Game 6.

“I heard him, but I was more focussed on the game at that point.”

Jones said he will be leaving Manila with happy memories, especially with the support that Filipino fans showered on him in his two-month stay.

“I’m a human being. I just want to get respect as a person, as a father, as a black man. I’m here to represent my family and I’m not saying anything bad to anybody else’s culture or race,” he said.

“No one person could tarnish how much love I was shown here by fans and the community.”

Santos stressed that now that Jones finally accepted his apology, he can now finally move on and lead the Beermen to a rare grand slam.

“This is one lesson I would never forget,” said Santos, a 13-year veteran.

“I’m happy – not just because of our championship – but also because of his (Jones) decision to accept my apology tthat gives me peace of mind.

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p: wjg