ASIDE from preparing to play against the world’s best players in the Fiba World Cup, Gilas Pilipinas forward Marc Pingris said he’s brushing up on his French for his long-overdue rendezvous with his father Jean Marc, Sr. and some of his cousins in Antibes, France this Wednesday.
Pingris admits that he’s got no problem banging bodies and defending taller players in the nationals’ run-up to the world championships, but speaking his dad's language is proving to be a tough challenge.
“Baka magta-Tagalog na lang ako, sila na mag-nose bleed sa akin,” Pingris said laughing on Sunday. “Eh nakakaintindi naman ako ng French kasi dati, nag-aral ako ng konti kasama si Danica (his wife).”
Gilas is scheduled to play three friendly games in Antibes - against the France national team without NBA star Tony Parker on August 15, against Australia the next day, and against Ukraine on August 17.
Pingris said he’s excited to meet his father, whom he was supposed to visit early last year until his trip to France was shelved when he joined Gilas’ training for the 2013 Fiba Asia men’s championships in Manila.
“Oo, sa France na kami magkikita. Manonood din sila every game. Kumuha siya ng bahay na malaki at good for 10,” Pingris shared with a tone of excitement.
Pingris said he and Danica actually enrolled in a French class in Jupiter, Makati in 2009, but they weren’t able to finish the basic course due to a conflict in schedule with the team’s practice.
Until this time, he remains in level 1 of the French language, the reason why he will have to recall some of the lessons he had five years ago.
“Sobrang hirap (to learn French), kasi okay lang kung Tagalog at English. Eh hanggang level 1 lang ako gawa nung practice. Wala na kasi, dahil di na nakayanan ng schedule,” he said.