Healthy or not, Chito Victolero wants Marc Pingris by his side for Star's playoff run
Marc Pingris has missed Star's entire campaign in the PBA Commissioner's Cup - and could be out of the playoffs as well. Dante Peralta

MARC Pingris could leave as early as Wednesday for the US and could stay there for as long as a month to get treatment for his hip injury.

The Star big man said he is just waiting for his passport from the French Embassy for him to push through with his flight on Wednesday to Los Angeles where he is set to undergo rehab for his hip injury that has kept him sidelined since the start of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

“Hopefully dumating na yung French passport ko mamaya, kasi every Tuesday dumadating yung mga passport eh,” Pingris said in a chat with after Star practice on Tuesday before going to the embassy.

“Pag makuha ko na yung passport ko mamaya, alis na ako agad,” the Filipino-French cager added on the eve of the Hotshots’ final game of the eliminations against Alaska.

Once he gets there, Pingris could be in the US for a month, possibly missing the Hotshots’ entire playoff campaign.

“Dun na rin ako magse-celebrate pag nag-champion na kami,” the 35-year-old Hotshots star said in jest.

But that’s just how confident Pingris is with the Hotshots who have enjoyed the view from top, having won eight of their 10 games even without the defensive anchor.

Pingris gave credit to coach Chito Victolero and returning import Ricardo Ratliffe, who replaced Tony Mitchell, for steering the squad to where it is.

“Sobrang blessed nga eh,” Pingris said. “Sobrang proud ako sa teammates ko, especially kay coach, talagang grabe yung work nila. Of course maganda rin yung import na nakuha namin, talagang nagtatrabaho. Of course kay Tony, nagpapasalamat din kami sa kanya.”

Still, Victolero is hoping for Pingris to arrive earlier to provide the team with leadership even from the sidelines.

“Ang usapan namin, I want him to be here for the playoffs sana,” Victolero said. “Kung hindi man siya makapaglaro, he’s on the bench; ang laking tulong din sa amin yun eh na nasa bench siya, may veteran guy ako sa bench na he can talk to the players. Alam niya kung ano yung adjustment.

“Kung makakabalik siya ng maaga, much better para matulungan niya ako sa bench,” he added.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos