Pingris emphasizes on finding open man with improved passing game

By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--Marc Pingris has been known as a defensive anchor for the Purefoods franchise over the years.

But on Thursday night, the six-foot-six big man showed that he can be a solid passer as well by dishing five assists in Star's PBA Philippine Cup semifinals Game 1 win against Ginebra at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

In an interview with Dugout Philippines after the game, Pingris said it was all part of the game plan.

"Part ng game namin yun. Kung sino yung open, di mo na pipilitin. Ibibigay mo yung bola sa kanya. I'm happy naman na nasho-shoot nila," said Pingris.

He actually displayed an impressive all-around game by adding 12 rebounds, three blocks, and three steals while coming close to a double-double with nine points.

"Kailangan kong gawin yun kung gusto kong manalo. Nagpapasalamat ako kay Lord na binigyan ako ng strength para sa ganitong pagkakataon," Pingris commented on the solid overall performance.

The main highlight of his night was his clutch block on Japeth Aguilar, but for Pingris, it was a lucky defensive gem.

"Ang laki ni Japeth eh. Matangkad tapos very athletic na tao siya. Parang natyempuhan ko lang," he explained.

However, Pingris expressed his awareness that it is still a long way to go for the Hotshots.

"Hindi pa tapos ito. Babalikan pa namin sila sa Game 2," vowed Pingris ahead of their rematch with the Barangay on Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay.

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