MARC Pingris tested the mettle of this towering batch of Gilas Pilipinas as he made a cameo appearance in practice on Tuesday night at the Meralco gym.
The former national team mainstay not only paid the current Gilas batch a surprise visit, he also suited up and joined the evening session of the squad's two-a-day practices.
“Wala, nakipag-practice lang ako,” Pingris said in a text message the next day. “Na-miss ko kasi magsuot ng Gilas.”
“At isa pa, kwentuhan natin,” he added.
Pingris marveled at the size of this current crop of nationals with June Mar Fajardo and the returning Andray Blatche anchoring the middle.
“Malalaki sila ngayon at mas makakapaglaro na si June Mar, so malakas naman sila, pero mas malakas kami dati. Hahaha. Joke!” the 36-year-old Pingris, who last suited up for the national team in last year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, said.
Turning serious, Pingris believes Gilas can make a dent in the Fiba World Cup qualifiers starting against Japan in Tokyo on November 24 with this tall lineup.
“Sa tingin ko, malayo mararating nila dahil pag pinagsabay mo si June Mar at Andray, bigat nyan; may Japeth ka pa, pwede na silang mag three-big eh,” Pingris beamed.