MAGNOLIA got an added boost in its PBA Philippine Cup Finals campaign ahead of Game 1 Friday night after injured veteran Marc Pingris showed up at the Smart Araneta Coliseum to personally cheer for his teammates against heavily favored San Miguel Beer.
The 36-year-old Pingris walked with crutches a week after undergoing surgery for an ACL tear on his left knee.
But the native of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan bucked the pain to be with the Hotshots in their first ever finals appearance since winning the rare grand slam in 2013-14 season.
“Di ba sinabi ko naman sa iyo nun, kahit naka-wheel chair ako pupunta ako para lang bigyan ko sila ng suporta,” said Pingris to SPIN.ph just outside the team dugout minutes before the opener of the best-of-seven title series.
The 13-time All-Star said he didn't tell the Hotshots that he's coming over for the game.
"Wala akong sinabihan. Basta pumunta na lang ako dito," said Pingris.
The injured knee remains in an immobilizer and wouldn't be removed until April 8, after which, his rehabilitation and therapy program begins.
Pingris will miss the rest of the season following the injury he sustained during Game 1 of the Hotshots' semifinals series against NLEX.
He's projected to return to active duty by the league's 44th season.