UNKNOWN to most viewers, San Mig star forward Marc Pingris played with a nasty 'boxer's cut' on his eyelid during their Wednesday clash with Air 21 Express at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The tough-as-nails Pozzorubio, Pangasinan native was accidentally hit with an elbow by Express import Wesley Witherspoon in the first half, opening a painful, inch-long cut on his eyelid.
They Said It!
“Napakatapang ni Ping. He’s been hit, he’s been bruised, and now he’s got the cut sa mata niya ulit, same spot na nasundot ni JR Quinahan last finals, yet he’s playing through it again." San Mig team doctor Raffy Sanchez
But the pain did not stop the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay from playing a big role as usual in the 97-84 victory over Air21 that enabled the Mixers stay in the hunt for a twice-to-beat spot in the playoffs.
“Nasiko ako. Hindi naman sadya, pero pumutok eh. Ramdam ko agad na may cut,” said Pingris while being attended to by San Mig team doctor Raffy Sanchez inside the team's dugout at the Big Dome.
Pingris’ cut was so nasty that Dr. Sanchez suggested that it be stitched up. It was also the same eye that Rain or Shine's JR Quinahan accidentally poked during the last Philippine Cup Finals.
“Lumalaki yung sugat, bumubuka everytime na pipikit siya. Which is not good,” said the amiable team doctor. “Initially, I wanted to give him stitches, pero parang ayaw niya eh
“Kaya ngayon nilagyan ko na lang ng steri strip. Kaya naman kaya hindi na tinahi!”
Sanchez bared that the cut will need three days to heal, but he added that Pingris will be observed in the next few days if it will heal posivitely.
“Pag stable yung sugat niya, hindi bumuka, okay na. Wala nang tahi. Pero ako nga sana, gusto ko tahiin para hindi pumangit yung scar, kasi baka pwedeng bumuka ulit eh!”
Meanwhile, Sanchez bared Pingris refused to put bandages on his cut during the game.
“Ayaw niya lagyan ng bandage kasi nakakailang daw. Nawawala focus niya,” said Sanchez, amazed at the tolerance level of the rugged forward.
“Napakatapang ni Ping. He’s been hit, he’s been bruised, and now he’s got the cut sa mata niya ulit, same spot na nasundot ni JR Quinahan last finals, yet he’s playing through it again,” said Sanchez.
Asked if his injury is a cause for concern for the millions of San Mig fans, Pingris only shook his head.
“Hindi wag silang mag-alala, okay ako. Lalaro at lalaro ako,” he said.
And why is he enduring it all?
“Kailangan eh. Kailangan mag-grand slam,” said Pingris, obviously training his sights on winning the ongoing Commissioner’s Cup and the coming Governors’ Cup for a shot at grand slam history.
And his message to the fans?
“Okay lang ako. Wag silang mag-alala. Malayo sa mata,” he said, to which Sanchez concurred.