EVEN against a field that is obviously below its talent level, Marc Pingris urged Gilas Pilipinas to give out its best instead of holding its punches.
The original energy guy of the national team made the observation after personally watching Gilas romped to its second straight win in the Southeast Asia Basketball Association (Seaba) Championship with a 113-66 rout of Singapore Saturday night.
Despite the 47-point romp, the veteran forward of the Star Hotshots believes the Filipinos didn’t go out and play their best before a big weekend crowd at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“Alam ko naman hindi 100 percent yung binibigay ng mga players natin,” said the 35-year-old Pingris, who watched the match along with celebrity wife Danica. “Ngayon pa lang, ibigay na nila yung best nila para ma-achieve nila kung ano yung gusto nilang makuha.”
“Ngayon parang nilalaro-laro lang nila dahil kayang-kaya nila,” he added. “Attitude din kasi ng isang player yun, e. Pag nakita mong medyo mahina yung kalaban mo, hindi mo ibibigay yung 100 percent mo.”
Despite his constructive criticism, Pingris admitted missing the entire Gilas team of which he played from 2012 to 2016.
“Yeah sobrang na-miss ko yung team talaga,” he said with a big smile. “Sabi ko nga kanina, ‘boss ayokong pumunta rito kasi maiiyak ako.”
“Ibang-iba kasi talaga. Yung mga pinagsamahan ninyo, yung suot mo yung Pilipinas. Ibang usapan yun, e.”
Pingris went inside the Gilas dugout after the win over Singapore and tried to catch up with some of the players, in particular Calvin Abueva and Andray Blatche.
He later had a selfie with the entire team which he posted on his Instagram account.
“Kinamusta niya lang ako tapos kamustahan how’s the family, ganun,” Pingris said of his conversation with his former teammate. “Sabi ko congrats sa panalo, congrats din yung sa panalo niya sa China (championship). Sabi ko magbigay siya ng bonus, Big money! Big money.”
Pingris plans to watch the remaining games of Gilas in the tournament that ends on Thursday. The national team still has to play Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore.
Hopefully, he’ll finally see a Gilas team that will play true to its potential.
“Ok naman yung laro nila. Pero alam ko may ibubuga pa sila,” he stressed.