Rico Maierhofer apologizes to friend Marc Pingris after incident: 'Kahit hindi ko sabihin alam na niya yun'
Rico Maierhofer said he and Marc Pingris have been friends since their Purefoods days. Jaime Campos

THE episode between Marc Pingris and Rico Maierhofer was nothing but an incident involving two competitive friends.

The lanky Globalport center was apologetic following a late second quarter collision with the resident Star power forward that left Pingris with a bloodied forehead.

Maierhofer said he and Pingris go a long way back, completely downplaying the mishap.

“Wala yun. Si Ping longtime friend ko yan. Kaibigan ko na yan since start pa ng PBA (career) ko,” said the 30-year-old big man, even relating how he won his first championship in the pro league with Ping as one of this teammates at Purefoods (now Star).

“Nag-sorry naman ako. Pero kahit hindi ko naman sabihin alam na niya yun.”

The De La Salle big man was being guarded by Pingris as he was trying to drive to the basket when their heads collided, leaving Pingris with a cut just above the eyebrow that took four stiches to close.

“Eventually yung kanya dumugo, sa akin hindi, “ said Maierhofer, who got a big-time ribbing from Star coach Jason Webb as he yelled, ‘Mas matigas pala ulo mo kaysa kay Ping’ when he passed by while the Globalport stalwart was having a chat with Spin.ph.

Pingris also chided Maierhofer in his Instagram account(jeanmarc15), 'Rico tigas ng ulo mo hahaha.'

Maierhofer also had an incident with Mark Cruz in the homestretch of their PBA Philippine Cup game Friday night won by Star, 127-100.

The Batang Pier’s back up big man was seen hitting the diminutive Star point guard with the ball in the head during a transition play before going straight to the basket.

 “Actually nabitawan ko yung bola, eh andun pala siya,” he said laughing. “Maliit kasi kaya hindi ko nakita.”

The twin misfortune capped the Batang Pier’s fourth straight loss that dropped them to 2-5 overall to occupy the cellar of the standings.

But Maierhofer – and the rest of the Globalport team - isn’t losing hope.

“Sabi ni coach kaya pa namin basta straight lang namin yung last three games namin,” he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos