Depleted Gilas clueless on Marc Pingris no-show, but continues to hold out hope
Marc Pingris arrived from France on Wednesday but failed to show up for Gilas practice the next day. Jerome Ascano 

GILAS Pilipinas officials are clueless on the no-show of Marc Pingris from practice on Thursday night, but at the same time are holding out hope that the Star forward will join the national pool in the coming days.

Gilas team manager Butch Antonio confirmed that Pingris arrived on Wednesday from a stay in France but had no idea on why the longtime national player didn't show up as expected at the Meralco Gym.

"Hindi ko alam eh (kung bakit hindi siya nag show up). Siguro hintayin na lang natin hanggang bukas," said Antonio, adding the Gilas door remained open for all players named by the PBA to join the national team pool.

"Wala pa eh. Hintayin na lang namin siyang dumating sa practice. Pero andito na siya sa Pilipinas eh. Dumating kahapon," added the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) deputy director for international affairs.

[See Where's Ping? Baldwin silent on Pingris no-show] 

Pingris left for Normandy, France on July 28 to visit his father's family but told days before his departure that he is willing to join the Gilas pool if head coach Tab Baldwin is willing to wait for him.

"Sa akin naman, kung mahihintay pa nila ko sa pagbabalik ko sa August 12, willing pa rin ako maglaro ... Ako pa ba ang aatras d'yan," he said in the interview.

Antonio explained that Gilas, badly in need of additional players following a spate of withdrawals and injuries, drafted Pingris into the pool since he was part of the 16-man list made available by the PBA to the national team.

"Di ba nag-release ang PBA ng names?" said Antonio. "Si Ping yan, alam naman natin ang tulong na maibibigay ni Ping to any team."

"Ang amin kasi he was part of the pool and we are waiting for good news. I think it's best to just wait muna. We don't want to pre-empt anything," he added.

[See Pingris in doubt for Gilas as he leaves for France]

Antonio stayed mum when asked what could have kept Pingris from showing up. But he remained hopeful that one of the heroes of Gilas' runner-up finish in the 2013 Fiba Asia championship will attend practice soon.

'Ping' is welcome, he said, and so are other players named in the PBA pool.

"Basta ang amin, he is welcome to come. Ang point siguro that's good to take note, is that he is here and we are waiting," said the amiable Gilas official.


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