MARC Pingris doesn’t expect a walk in the park any time San Mig plays Rain or Shine in a PBA game.
And now that the teams are facing off in the PBA Finals for the second time this season, the energetic San Mig forward is bracing for the most difficult part of the team’s grand slam bid.
The PBA Governors Cup Finals starts on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Number one, di mo na maaalis yung physical game sa Rain or Shine kasi always naman, nire-remind kami ni coach (Tim Cone) na mag-focus na lang sa game at di sa referees,” Pingris told Spin.ph.
Pingris said he took the entire Saturday’s break off to rest his body left banged up after the team’s 3-2 Governors Cup semifinal series against Talk ‘N Text.
The player from Pozzorubio in Pangasinan said getting the three wins needed to take the title will mean a lot more aches and pains, contested shots in every possession and a lot of emotions.
San Mig has brought back Marqus Blakely the last three Governors Cup campaigns, while Arizona Reid has played for Rain or Shine in three of the last four Governors Cup. But Pingris said the two imports will most likely cancel each other out.
“Itong dalawang import na ito, siguradong magpipigaan, pero basta kami sa mga locals, di lang dapat isa ang dedepensahan namin,” he said.
“Pantay-pantay ang respeto at pagtingin namin sa kanila,” added Pingris, citing Rain or Shine gunners Jeff Chan, Paul Lee and even burly big man Beau Belga, who can all knock down three-point shots on any given night.
The two teams first met in a PBA Finals during the 2012 Governors Cup, with Rain or Shine emerging with a 4-3 victory behind Best Import Jamelle Cornley.
San Mig returned the favor with a 4-2 Finals series win over Rain or Shine during this season's Philippine Cup Finals.
“May dream din naman kami na makuha iyun (grand slam) kasi minsan ka lang naman makapasok sa ganitong pagkakataon, pero mahihirapan din kami kasi tiyak, gusto rin nilang bumawi sa amin,” he added.