IT wasn’t meant to disrespect or add insult to injury when Marc Pingris took a selfie with members of Gilas Pilipinas just moments after it engaged the Australian basketball team in a full-blown brawl during their FIBA World Cup qualifier game Monday night.
Pingris said he has no intention of offending the Boomers when he took a photo with the players at the sideline of the Philippine Arena while game officials were reviewing the incident that escalated at the 4:01 mark of the third period and the visiting team holding a 79-48 lead.
Not a few Aussies reacted negatively to the action taken by veteran Magnolia Pambansang Manok forward, which went viral on social media.
Former Australian team captain and NBA player Andrew Bogut took to Twitter to express his disappointment over the ‘seflie.’
While the 36-year-old Pingris apologized for what he did, personally he believes there was really nothing wrong with it.
Pingris said he was taking selfies with the crowd before his former teammates joined him.
“Kung mali ako sorry sa lahat ng nagalit, pero sa tingin ko walang masama sa ginawa ko,” said Pingris when sought out by SPIN.ph shortly after the incident.
The former Gilas member added he just wanted to take a photo with his ‘brothers’ as he was already set to go home even if the game wasn’t officially over.
“Actually pauwi na ako and gusto ko lang may picture ako sa kanila,” said Pingris, adding if he really meant to malign the visiting team, he could have opted to have a photo instead with the entire team.
With Pingris in the photo were Terrence Romeo, Matthew Wright, Carl Bryan Cruz, Andray Blatche, Troy Rosario, Gabe Norwood and reserve Jio Jalalon.
From the players in the photo, only Norwood was not ejected.
Besides, Pingris said he didn’t realize the selfie would cause such a ruckus.
“Hindi ko naman alam na may camera pa kasi saglit na saglit lang yun,” he said, taking the criticism in stride. “Kahit saan naman e, may matutuwa. May magagalit."
In the end, Pingris said he was just too happy being with his Gilas ‘brothers’ again.
“Masaya ako na nakita ko at nakasama ulit sila,” said Ping.