MARC Pingris sent Omer Asik and the rest of international stars standing in their way a strong message on Friday night that Gilas Pilipinas will never back down from anybody.
The Filipino workhorse forward got involved in a commotion with the Turkish star early in the fourth quarter of their tune-up game at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Claiming the seven-foot Asik hit him on the nose and on his back, Pingris retaliated in a play that resulted in double technical fouls called and the last foul on the New Orleans slotman.
“Nagkabigayan lang kanina,” Pingris recounted. “‘Di naman tayo papasindak sa kanila e. Kailangan lumalaban din, ‘di ba?
“Hindi naman puwede yun ikaw na nga yung siniko siya pa yung galit pag binawian mo,” he added. “Kailangan ipakita mo rin na matapang ka rin sa loob.”
Not even if he’s up against a towering NBA veteran.
“Wala akong pakialam dun,” Pingris continued. “Kung sino yung kaharap ko, basta kasalanan niya, edi gagantihan.”
“Siniko ko rin. ‘Di naman sadya, patago lang,” the Star forward added with a smile.
Pingris just made the most of his six minutes on the floor where he had one assist and two fouls.
“Kahit bigyan ako ng two minutes ni coach, one minute, five minutes, gagawin ko yung trabaho ko,” Pingris said. “Alam kong may plano si coach para sa team. Alam kong kung sino yung pinapasok niya mas nakakabuti sa team.”
Asik and the rest of the Turkish team had already gone to their bus before reporters could get an interview.