MARC Pingris is in a dilemma: he loves that the physical brand of play in the PBA is back, but he also can’t help but be frustrated when the physicality goes against Magnolia’s favor.
The Hotshots power forward thrived in a more physical game at the start of the playoffs as he anchored the team in their 86-79 win over GlobalPort to advance to the semifinals of the Philippine Cup.
The 14-year veteran registered 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting, nine boards, two blocks, one assist, and one steal in 33 minutes as a starter as the Hotshots eliminated the Batang Pier in just one game.
“Iba na yung laro ngayon sa PBA, more physical na talaga. Ako, gusto ko yun,” Pingris beamed after the game. “Dyan ako galing eh; sa probinsya nakikipagsikuhan ako – pero hindi naman yung away.
“Konting adjust lang at konting lamig ng ulo, kasi minsan, maano mo, kahit foul, walang foul, ganun, so part na rin yun ng game yun,” the pride of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan added. “Sabi ni coach kailangan mag-focus lang kayo.”
After all, Pingris lost his cool and was called for a technical foul for disrespectfully addressing an official after complaining over a non-call on Jio Jalalon, who he felt drew a foul after being pushed late in the third quarter.
“Talagang foul talaga yun,” Pingris said. “Ewan ko ba, nag-eexplain kasi ako, minsan akala nila galit agad. Ine-explain ko lang na, ‘ref, kailangan tawagan mo.’ (Pero) technical agad. Bawal na ba mag-explain?”
“Pero part ng game eh, ‘di ba?” he was quick to add. “Katulad ng sinasabi ko nga eh, kailangan mag-focus. Kung natawag na, hindi na mababago yun eh. Pero gusto lang namin sabihin na may foul talaga. Pero yun, fine pa tuloy.”
Pingris believes more physical games will only test the Hotshots' patience as they seek to finally get over the hump after falling short of the finals the last three conferences.
“Para sa akin, nag-iiba yung laro tuwing nasa semis o finals eh,” the former Gilas Pilipinas stalwart said. “Hindi mo matatanggal talaga yung physicality ng laro. Ang importante lang talaga dyan is yung mindset mo, yung focus mo, yun yung laging sinasabi ni coach, na pag sinong pikon, talo.”
“So once again, ito ulit yung opportunity namin na matagal na naming pinagdadasal na, hopefully this time, makapasok kami ng finals,” he added.