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Pingris vents frustration over another semifinal exit for Star: “Hindi pa kami gano'n kahinog.”

By Patrick Sutare

QUEZON CITY--Marc Pingris did not hold his feelings back towards Star's dimmed campaign in the season as the team settled for yet another final four exit.

"Three-peat. Three-peat," said a disappointed but satiric Pingris, obviously referring to the Hotshots' semifinal conundrum for the third straight time this season.

"Siguro hindi pa kami gano'on kahinog," bared the 6'4 forward when asked about what was lacking from the team overall in the season.

He then emphasized on the importance on camaraderie on and off the court, saying that the chemistry and connection between the players should not be limited around the four corners of the floor during games and practices.

"Kailangan solid pa din 'yung samahan namin kahit sa labas. Hindi lang dahil 'pag nasa practice ka o nasa game ka okay kayo," he said. "Doon mo talaga maaamoy ang isa't isa eh."

The storied franchise tried to fan its chances of entering the Finals in the PBA Governors' Cup. The attempt, however, fell short anew as Meralco warded off its feisty struggle in Game 3 of their series, sweeping the team off in the season-ending tournament.

Visibly frustrated, Pingris lamented the somehow lack of a sense of urgency in his team.

"Ito na siguro 'yung time na magising naman kami sa katotohanan na lagi na lang kami semis semis semis, 'apg dating ng semis bagsak 'yung team. So ito na siguro 'yung time na makuha namin talaga kung ano 'yung mga mali 'pag dating ng semis."

Before their latest semis debacle, the Hotshots were stopped by Barangay Ginebra in seven games in the Philippine Cup before eventual Commissioner's Cup winner San Miguel denied them in the mid-season conference.

The eight-time champ was also straightforward in saying the series could have told a different story had erstwhile import Malcolm Hill stayed and engineered their charge.

"Ibang istorya talaga 'pag si Malcolm 'yung nandito. Dahil 'pag si Malcolm siguro malalabas din namin 'yung three nila or 'yung big na kukuha sa kanya," said Pingris while citing in comparison how the arrival of Ranidel de Ocampo made a difference for the Bolts.

While cutting some slack on the sub-par showing of Kristofer Acox, Pingris admitted that they could have gotten more from the import.

"Siguro off din ng import namin ngayon. Sobrang kitang-kita naman na 'di siya makapaglaro nang maayos kahit anong pilit namin. May mga ganoon talagang araw ang mga player eh. Pero sana maisip niya, import siya eh. Pero nad'yan na 'yan so kailangan namin magtrabaho mga locals."

Follow him on Twitter: @patricksutare