MARC Pingris was among those who felt sorry as injuries befell Gilas Pilipinas at a time when it's about to go deep in training for its coming campaign in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The energetic power forward lamented not seeing the true potential of a healthy national team, with players dropping out of the training pool roster one after the other like pieces of dominoes.
He rued not seeing the full potential a tall frontcourt manned by June Mar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, and naturalized player Andray Blatche could do against the opposition in the July 5-10 meet at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Nakapanghihinayang,” he said.
“Sayang yung potential ng team,” added Pingris as the national team took a break from training on Friday. “Kung andiyan si Greg and June Mar, laban tayo. Tapos magte-tres si Blatche. Malaki sana yung lineup natin.”
The 6-11 Slaughter is definitely out of the training pool after successfully undergoing ankle surgery also on Friday, while the 6-foot-11 Fajardo sat out practice on Thursday owing to a swollen knee.
Even without Slaughter, Gilas still showed how competitive it was with Blatche and Fajardo manning the middle during the team’s campaign in the 2014 Fiba World Cup in Spain.
But Pingris is not taking it against Slaughter or on the other pool members like Paul Lee and Matt Ganuelas Rosser who already begged off from joining the team due to injuries.
“Wala tayong magagawa dun, tao lang naman din sila, tayo,” said Pingris, who is expected to even play a bigger role with Slaughter backing out.
“Kahit na ba gusto nilang maglaro kung hindi naman kaya ng katawan nila, wala talaga tayong magagawa.”
The Star Hotshots veteran could only hope and pray Slaughter and Co. recover well from their respective injuries and get another chance of suiting up for the national team in the future.