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Pingris fine with busted lip to open 2018

Marc Pingris suffered a nasty lip bust early into Magnolia's game against Kia, but after getting stitches, he returned to the game. PBA Media Bureau
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY--The recent injury bug to Marc Pingris has been a concern of Coach Chito Victolero, especially that Magnolia needs some more consistency inside.

That's whether the injury happened on and off the court.

"Ang problema kay Ping, takaw aksidente. Before New Year, nadulas yan. Nagkaroon ng sugat," Victolero bared on Wednesday night.

Adding to the pain was a busted lip that he suffered early into the Hotshots' game against the Kia Picanto at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Pingris was hit by Jack Corpuz while the latter tried to go for a steal with 7:35 to go in the first quarter, leading to the former's upper lip bleeding with too much blood.

Pingris had to be rushed back to the dugout to treat the big wound that he admitted was sealed with stitches.

"Ewan ko kung ilang tahi yun," Pingris said in a separate interview.

But Pingris remained as goofy as he is despite being wounded, even joking, "Di ko alam kung ano ang kakainin ko. Mas masarap sa sugat ang manggang hilaw, di ba?"

Turning serious, however, Pingris said that it is part of his life as a player.

"Hindi naman natin maiiwasan yung mga ganyan. Nagpapasalamat ako kay Lord na butas lang. Hindi natanggal yung ngipin. Medyo pogi pa rin nang konti," he said. "Part naman ng game yun. Di naman sinasadya eh."

However, in a moment reminiscent of Robert Jaworski, who had a similar busted lip in a 1985 game, Pingris returned to the floor as if nothing happened.

"Di naman kagustuhan yung nangyari eh. So back to work lang. Balik sa laro. Wala namang nangyari eh. Nagkataon lang," he further quipped.

Although Pingris only had six points, four rebounds, and two assists, his presence, especially his return to play, and leadership were sufficient for the Hotshots as they convincingly drubbed the Picanto, 124-77.

[Related Story: Magnolia spoils Dandan's pro ball comeback, hands Kia 47-point defeat]

"I'm happy na nakuha namin yung laro," Pingris said about the win.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno