VIC Sotto and Marc Pingris have nothing but mutual admiration, getting along together even if they belong to two different worlds.
In as much as Sotto considers the celebrated basketball star as an ideal son-in-law, Ping also considers the famous TV host-comedian as a very loving father.
“Ideal (na son-in-law siya eh). Mabait na asawa, mabait na ama, mabait pang basketball player,” said Sotto of the Star power forward, who is husband to her daughter, actress Danica Sotto.
As his way of showing support to Pingris, the man they call ‘Bossing’ makes it a point to come over and watch PBA games every time the Hotshots play, usually accompanied by actress girlfriend Pauleen Luna.
For his part, Pingris bared how Sotto always makes an effort to bond with his children.
“Napakabait niyang ama, very caring and understanding talaga. Di ko nga inakala na ganun siya kabait lalo siyempre noong araw pa siya kilala bilang sikat na artista,” he said.
Sotto also has felt the same way with Pingris the first time they met, never mind that the 6-foot-5 cager is heavily-tattooed and sported a long hair when he was beginning to court Danica.
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The multi-awarded host admitted seeing a kind hearted person in Pingris, who he believes was very sincere when they were first introduced to each other.
“Makikita mo naman sa aura ng isang tao kung mabait o nagbabait-baitan lang. Naramdaman ko naman kaagad sa kanya 'yun, na mabait siyang tao,” said Sotto.
Although hesitant at first to become part of a celebrity family, the native of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan said he never had problems dealing with Sotto.
“Bago pa man ako nanligaw kay Danica, nagpagupit na agad ako ng buhok nun,” recalled the hard-banging Gilas Pilipinas forward.
“Saka hindi niya (Sotto) ako pinakitaan ng masama nung nanliligaw ako. Pero siyempre nagtatanong-tanong rin siya. Inalam niya kung sino ako at taga-saan ako,” he added.
Also as his way of supporting Pingris, Sotto said he is very open to helping his son-in-law start a showbiz career once his playing days are over.
“Pwede sa showbiz 'yan (Pingris), nagge-guest nga sa show ko 'yan eh. May potential iyan mag-artista,” said Sotto, credited for discovering top comedians like Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and the late Richie D’ Horsie.
“Pero sa akin, concentrate siya muna rito (Star Hotshots), lalo na kailangang-kailangan nilang manalo ng sunod-sunod,” he added.
Turning to basketball and the Hotshots’ current fate in the PBA Governors Cup, Sotto still believes the team is not yet out of contention despite losing its last four outings, with only a single win to show.
“Adjustment lang siguro. Pero tiwala ako pagdating sa dulo, pagaling na pagaling yan,” said Sotto, recalling the same plight the Hotshots had when they started last year’s Philippine Cup with a 1-5 record before ending up winning the championship – and later a first ever Grand Slam in franchise history.
“Part of the game yan eh. You win some, you lose some. Ok lang 'yan. Dun mo nga nakikita yung mga magagaling na tao, pag natatalo,” said Sotto.
As a parting note on Pingris’ basketball career, Sotto also hopes he will again be tapped as part of Gilas Pilipinas that will be vying in this year’s Fiba Asia Men’s Championship set in Changsha, Hunan, China.
“Although nagsasakripisyo 'yung pamilya niya (pag nasa Gilas siya), pero para sa bayan kahit ano gagawin niya,” said Sotto.
“(Sana nga makabalik siya sa Gilas), kasi maganda ang (fighting) spirit niya eh. Yung spirit niya ang habol ng team sa kanya eh,” added the former lead vocalist of the popular group VST and Co.