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Pingris begs off from Gilas duties--report

FIBA (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Gilas Pilipinas suffered another blow manpower-wise as Marc Pingris officially set himself aside from national team duties.

According to a report by Richard Dy of The Philippine Star, Ed Ponceja, Pingris' agent, said that the 6-6 Star power forward told Gilas on Friday that he will skip his duties to focus more on his PBA club's buildup for the upcoming PBA season.

Ponceja further revealed that Pingris actually wanted to announce the said move on Thursday but did not push through due to inclement weather, explaining the "no-show" at the practice that night.

Ponceja, however, admitted that he suggested Pingris to prioritize the Hotshots for now since Coach Jason Webb only took over the head mentoring job from Tim Cone recently.

The agent, on the other hand, reiterated that Pingris will still commit to Gilas once he gets a future call-up.

Prior to Pingris, Junemar Fajardo and L.A. Tenorio already announced their decision to beg off from Gilas because of respective health concerns. All three players are members of San Miguel Corporation-owned teams, fueling speculations that the said firm is barring its players from joining the national team heavily backed by Manny Pangilinan, one of its business rivals.

On the other hand, Kelly Williams suffered an MCL injury while in training, sidelining him in the process as well.