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    Ailing fan served as Pingris' biggest inspiration

    Apr 25, 2013
    San Mig forward Marc Pingris consoles Meralco import Eric Dawson after the game. Jerome Ascano

    ON his way to the Smart Araneta Coliseum for San Mig’s do-or-die encounter with Meralco, Marc Pingris had one huge motivation: win the game for an ailing fan.

    “May tao akong gustong tulungan na inoperahan sa puso. Pupuntahan ko siya bukas. Isa siyang fan na matanda na. Pinag-pray ko kanina papunta sa game na sana manalo at makatulong lang sa kanya kahit konti,” Pingris said.

    Speaking shortly after the Mixers nosed out the Bolts, 90-82, to reach the semifinals of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Wednesday night, Pingris told Spin.ph he plans to pay his male fan, who is in his late forties, a surprise visit the next day.

    “Malaking bagay din `yung makapagbigay ng ligaya bukas sa kanya. Di pa niya alam na pupuntahan ko siya bukas (Thursday),” shared the energetic power forward.

    On who the fan was, Pingris only gave a hint.

    “May sumulat sa akin eh,” said Pingris.  “Saka siya (the fan) `yung naghahakot ng mga gamit namin kasi may pinapagawa akong bahay sa Pangasinan. Mga gamit ko from Valle Verde 2 gaya ng mga tiles na pinapadala namin sa Pozorrubio (Pangasinan). Lipat-bahay sila. Sabi niya idol na idol niya ako, so suki ko na rin at trusted ko siya.”

    The 6-foot-6 Pingris admitted becoming emotional seconds after the rousing win to the point of shedding tears while being interviewed by the broadcast panel.

    “Biglang nag-break down ako siguro sa saya kasi nagawa namin ang trabaho namin. Masaya na na-apply namin `yung natrabaho namin sa practice," he said.

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    “Di ko alam kung bakit ganun ako kanina eh. First time ko sa buong buhay ko sa PBA na umiyak. Mag-aartista na siguro ako,” added the husband of actress Danica Sotto and son-in-law of popular TV host-comedian Vic Sotto.

    The slam-dunking Pingris was a bundle of energy on the court during the match as he had his defensive imprint all over the game, especially against Meralco import Eric Dawson.

    The former PSBA stalwart admitted defying the orders of San Mig coach Tim Cone several times in the pivotal fourth period by switching defensive assignments with import Denzel Bowles to take on Dawson.

    “Kasi nakita ko na pagod na si Denzel eh. Nag-try lang ako. Alam ko sobrang lakas ng import nila (Bolts) pero sakto lang. Naisip ko one-time lang, then na stop namin,” recounted the five-time All-Defensive team member.

    “Sabi ko one more, hanggang sa ilang balik na. Pag sinasabi ni coach na bantayan ko si Reynel (Hugnatan), sinasabi ko, hindi, isa pa.

    “Pagkatapos ng game, natuwa naman siya (Cone) kaya siguro niyakap niya ako, may tiwala naman si coach,” he added.

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    San Mig forward Marc Pingris consoles Meralco import Eric Dawson after the game. Jerome Ascano
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