MARC Pingris announced on Tuesday that he will join the Gilas Pilipinas pool, saying he has reconsidered an earlier decision to skip national team duty after consultation with his wife and PBA ballclub.
“Despite my earlier pronouncement not to join and give others a chance to play for the country, Purefoods management has asked me to reconsider my decision,” Pingris said in a statement released to media outlets. "I talked to my wife and we agreed. In the end, it was pride and honor in representing the Philippines that prevailed over me."
They Said It!
“Making himself available is good for the national team, however the timing is suspicious. Gilas is in Estonia for a series of tune up games, inserting him after the tournament would be tricky, as it might affect the team's chemistry. For me, it's just a way of making fans believe that SMC does not stand in the way of its players in joining the national team. The truth is, they do stand in the way." - spinster
He added: “I am grateful for management’s support and if the Philippine team still needs me, I promise to go all out for the country in the Fiba-Asia Championship as it aims to gain a slot in the Rio Olympics next year.”
His announcement came just four days after he formally begged off from joining the pool preparing for the Fiba Asia showpiece in Changsha, China next month.
If he is taken back by national coach Tab Baldwin, Pingris, a pillar in the Gilas team that finished second to Iran in the 2013 Fiba Asia championship in Manila, will become the first - and so far only - player from teams under the San Miguel Corp. bloc to join the current Gilas pool.
However, Star Hotshots governor Rene Pardo said the SMC organization do not stand in the way of its players' desire to join the national team and, in fact, will "continue to encourage its pool of players to make themselves available, if they can, for national interest."
“He will represent the country because he wants to. We have no control over our players’ decision when it comes to competing for the national team," said Pardo in a statement.
"We do not deny that we debate on the merits of them joining as a professional player. However, in the end representing your country is an incomparable honor. You can’t argue with that.”