Latest Headlines

Pingris admits missing Gilas as he makes appearance in practice

File photo

By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Marc Pingris made a comeback to the Gilas Pilipinas practice on Monday night.

It was just that he came there as a spectator.

But while he was relegated to a mere observer during the national pool training session at the Meralco Gym, the Star forward made sure his presence will be felt.

Pingris gave a short talk to the players right after practice, and when asked by the media what he told them, he bared, "Sinabi ko sa kanila, 'Congrats sa inyo. Kung ano ang dumating na opportunity sa inyo, i-grab niyo. Lahat [nang] yan, puso lang. Mahirap, pero magiging proud yung mga batang tumitingin sa inyo na balang araw makalaro din sa Gilas."

However, the 35-year-old veteran admitted that he really missed being part of the national team.

"Na-miss ko rin ang pangalan ng Pilipinas.... Naging part na ng buhay ko ang Gilas," Pingris continued.

He further bared, "Ako nga kanina, gusto ko pa ring mag-practice."

Many Gilas fans were saddened when Coach Chot Reyes said that he is going for the long-term goal of making the FIBA World Cup and prioritize the young guns in choosing who will be part of the fifth installment of the national team program, leading to the non-selection of Pingris and other notable veterans

Still, the six-foot-six big man said that he lauded Reyes for having the said young core, especially having more bigs.

"Ang sabi ko sa kanya, 'OK yan. Marami kang bata. Mas nadagdagan yung mga malaki natin.' Dami niyang pinagpipilian ngayon at saka may time tayo ngayon para mag-practice. Kasi noong naglaro kami sa Spain, noong dumating si [Andray] Blatche, walang isang buwan kaming nag-practice. At least may time sila para mag-amuyan sa isa't isa," Pingris further uttered.

He also said that he is happy that the Hotshots are still well-represented with rookie point guard Jio Jalalon and high-flying veteran Allein Maliksi.

"Proud ako na teammates ko sila at ngayon nandito na sila sa Gilas. Lagi ko lang silang sinasabihan na pagkatapos ng practice, kailangan nilang kumain at magpahinga, kasi puhunan ang katawan eh.

He also expressed happiness in seeing a near-perfect attendance during his time there.

"Dyan mo makikita na maraming gustong maglaro sa Gilas. Kasi ang dinadala mo dito [ay] hindi yung apelyido mo kundi ang bandila natin," Pingris lauded.

In conclusion, when asked on what his plan will be if he gets an invite, he quipped, "Kung kakausapin ako ni Coach, 'Ano? Gusto mo pang maglaro?', kung kakayanin ng katawan ko, gagawin ko talaga [ang] lahat. One hundred percent, maglalaro ako."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno
comments powered by Disqus