|Marc Pingris has called it a career after 16 PBA seasons. PBA Images (file photo)|
MANILA—Marc Pingris, who embodies the word "puso" during his time in the PBA and the national team, is calling it a career after 16 seasons from the league.
"Sixteen years na din ako sa PBA pero alam ko na ngayon na din ang tamang panahon para umpisahan ang bagong chapter ng buhay ko. It has been a glorious 16 years, Pinoy Sakuragi 15 signing off," Pingris said as he announced his retirement on Tuesday night.
Known as a tenacious dunker early into his pro career with the Cebu Gems in the MBA's last season in 2002 and for Rain Or Shine when it was still in the PBL from 2003-2004, Pingris has evolved into a defensive pillar especially for the Purefoods franchise.
Pingris, the third overall pick of the 2004 PBA Draft by Air21, became known as an "import stopper" being the one in charge of stymieing the foreign reinforcement.
Pingris had a brief stay with San Miguel during the 2008-2009 season, even winning the Fiesta Conference championship there.
However, he was traded back to Purefoods before the 2009-2010 season and has never left the team since then.
However, an anterior cruciate ligament injury held him to only 12 games for the 2017-18 season and had to be replaced in the 2018 All-Star Game.
Pingris got to return in the 2019 season, playing for 21 games, but he was not with the franchise now known as the Magnolia Hotshots when the PBA held a bubble in Angeles last season.
In total, Pingris will end his career with nine titles including the 2014 grand slam.
The 2006 Most Improved Player also made three mythical selections and eight all-defensive teams and won three Defensive Player of the Year awards.
He has been selected as an All-Star in the seasons he played and has been named to the league's 40 Greatest Players.
Pingris was also part of the national team as early as 2003, winning the gold in the Southeast Asian Games that year.
But his more memorable days with the Philippine team was when he played in the 2013 and 2015 FIBA Asia Cups where he won silver medals on both occasions.
Pingris was also a member of the 2014 Gilas Pilipinas team that made a triumphant return to the FIBA World Cup.
Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno