MARC Pingris played the game of his life on a glorious Saturday night, shrugging off pain on his left foot to help Gilas Pilipinas overcome Korea and clinch a spot in the Fiba World Cup.
Pingris said he sprained his left ankle and was seen favoring the foot a number of times in the first half, but he still managed to come up with an outstanding double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds in an 86-79 semifinal win over Korea in the Fiba-Asia Championship at MOA Arena.
“First half, na-sprain ako, sabi ko kay coach Chot (Reyes), sub muna ako dahil kumikirot," said the Gilas starting forward. "Tapos pumunta ako sa tabi, sabi ko, ‘Lord, pagbigyan mo ako, gusto kong maglaro.’”
“Tiniis ko na lang at lumabas ang laro ko,” he added.
The 6-5 Pingris was noticeably limping on the court, but resting his foot was no longer an option after Marcus Douthit hurt his tender right calf early in the second quarter and never returned.
“Napaiyak na ako sa tuwa,” added Pingris.
Pingris said his foot was sore and will most likely get worse on Sunday, but he has promised to play and lay everything on the court in the title match against Iran on Sunday.
“Lalaro ako. Para sa bayan eh,” he vowed.