MARC Pingris plans to play in the PBA All-Star Game in front of provincemates even though he still has to make a full recovery from a major injury suffered last year.
Pingris, 37, was selected by the 12 coaches as a reserve for the North All-Stars though he hasn’t played since suffering an ACL tear in Game One of the Philippine Cup semifinals last March 2018.
“Kung palalaruin ako, parang laro-laro lang para sa fans,” said the Magnolia veteran.
Pingris said he owes it to the fans, particularly those from Pangasinan, which is hosting the All-Star Weekend from March 29 to 31 in Calasiao.
“Siyempre proud tayo kasi diyan tayo galing,” said the Pozorrubio native. “Taga-Pangasinan tayo. Kung ano sabihin ni coach, ni commissioner, gagawin ko ‘yun para sa mga fans at mga kababayan ko. Kung puwede sumayaw, sasayaw.”
Pingris is actually close to full recovery and has started joining Magnolia's practices.
“Getting better na. Everyday workout, sprint kami, nagja-jump na rin kami tapos shooting. Timing na lang at kinukuha ko ‘yung timing sa landing. ‘Yun ang crucial ngayon,” Pingris said.
Pingris is also undergoing hop tests which he needs to perfect in order to finally get the green light to play from doctors.
“Basta napasa ko ‘yung hop test ko, puwede na akong bumalik,” said Pingris. “Ginagawa namin ‘yun everyday kasi kailangan 100 percent makuha ko. Nasa 85 pa lang ako.”
Pingris feels he is getting closer to a return to the court in time for the stretch run of the Hotshots in the Philippine Cup.
“Malapit na. Okay naman na. Nandoon na ‘yung galaw ko. Nakaka-jump shot na ako, nakaka-lateral na ako sa workouts namin. All about timing at more power [na lang],” said the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay.