MARC Pingris is ready to defy tall odds.
Pingris, undersized by Fiba-Asia championships standards but one of the top post defenders in the country, is ready to put the clamps on much taller opponents for Gilas Pilipinas in the knockout stages.
“Kahit naman ako, wala akong kinakatakutan,” said Pingris.
The San Mig Coffee forward expects his defensive assignments to be much taller, stronger beginning with the Kazakhstan game but is ready to do whatever it takes to stop them.
“Kung sino ang pinapatrabaho sa akin, kahit mismatch. Hindi naman 100 percent, mapipigilan ko sila dahil sa experience nila at sa height,” said Pingris.
Pingris said he is slowly getting used to defending opponents much bigger than those he usually faces in the PBA as he draws energy from the home crowd.
“Nasasanay na unti unti ‘yung katawan ko," he said. "Basta andyan lang mga Pilipino. Nagbibigay sila ng sigla sa amin, ‘yung sigaw ng mga tao.”
Against Kazakhstan, Pingris expects to get the job of trying to stop top gun Anton Ponomarev.
“Shooter nila ‘yun eh. In-assign sa akin ni coach ‘yun 'nung tune-up game (namin two days before the tournament). Ready na ako,” said Pingris.
If they go deeper into the knockout phase, Pingris expects to draw much tougher assignments like NBA-caliber players Yi Jianlian of China or Hamed Hadadi of Iran.
“Kahit sino sa kanila,” said Pingris. “Malamang naman gagamitin ako na pambantay sa kanila, mas malalaki sa akin pero kapag sinabi ni coach (na bantayan ko), gagawin ko.”