MAGNOLIA suffered a major blow in its PBA Philippine Cup semifinals series against NLEX after veteran Marc Pingris hurt his left knee late in Game 1 Saturday night at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Pingris was brought to the Hotshots' dugout in stretcher as he writhed in pain after going down while trying to maneuver his way towards the basket against JR Quinahan entering the stretch of the final quarter and the Hotshots leading, 76-73.
"Masama yung pihit ko. Hindi sumunod yung paa ko," said Pingris inside the Magnolia dugout.
"Sumasakit na siya, bro," added Pingris as he was about to be brought to the waiting ambulance at the hallway parking of the Big Dome
Pingris was immediately rushed to Medical City to have an MRI on his injured knee. He was wheeled out of the venue just seconds after Magnolia lost the the series opener, 88-87.
At the time of his exit, Pingris already had five points, seven rebounds, and three assists in 28 minutes of play.
Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes was among the first to seek out the condition of Pingris inside the Magnolia dugout.
The 35-year-old native of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan immediately called his wife Danica over the phone to calm her down and assured the actress that everything is fine.
Team manager Alvin Patrimonio later said Pingris could have reinjured the same knee he hurt in the past.
Pingris missed the entire Commissioner's Cup last season and a part of the season-ending Governors Cup owing to a back injury that required medical treatment in the U.S.
NLEX coach Yeng Guiao also wished nothing serious happened to Pingris.
"What happened to Ping was really unfortunate but those things happen, especially towards the playoffs when games are hard and physical," he said. "Those things can happen and we hope he’s OK."