PUREFOODS is on a three-game tailspin and Marc Pingris has a simple explanation.
The locals are not playing defense.
The three-time Defensive Player of the Year noted that while the import changes had a lot to do with the Hotshots being out of sync, he said team defense has also collapsed in the past three games in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup where they are now in the middle of the 12-team standings.
“Ang momentum talaga namin dapat is yung depensa at mahalaga yung suportahan namin ang isa’t isa,” Pingris told Spin.ph on Thursday.
[See Inspired Ginebra sends defending champ Purefoods reeling to a third straight loss]
While the team had to transition from Marqus Blakely to Daniel Orton to former Best Import Denzel Bowles, the many-time PBA All-Defensive team member said the locals will have to do their part in preventing the team from crashing out of the playoff hunt.
“Alam naman nating malaking bagay ang import sa conference na ito, pero kaming mga locals, kailangan maibigay din namin yung 100 percent effort naming dumepensa,” he added.
Pingris said the numbers will bear him out.
During the team’s 4-0 start, the Hotshots limited their opponents to an average of just 76.5 points per contest, but in the last three games Purefoods allowed their opponents to score an average of 89.6 points.
[See Returning import Denzel Bowles hopes to regain chemistry with Purefoods teammates]
“Di mo naman puwedeng isisi lahat sa import. Kaming mga locals ang may problema,” he said.
At the same time, the 33-year-old Pingris said it would be unfair to credit KIA's hot stretch this conference solely to Puerto Rican import Peter John Ramos.
“Ang Kia, ang ganda ng nilalaro nila. Yung import naman nila, manalo or matalo, kaya niyang mag 30 (points) and 20 (rebounds), pero yung locals nila nagtatrabaho,” he added.
Purefoods Star tries to arrest its three game losing streak and get back to the playoff hunt when it faces San Miguel Beer on Sunday.