Marc Pingris says old fire is back as Purefoods prepares for PBA Commissioner's Cup title defense
Mark Pingris says Purefoods players are showing a lot of fire and passion in practice as they prepare for their PBA Commissioner's Cup title defense. Jerome Ascano

JUST a week since resuming practice, Purefoods Star forward Marc Pingris feels the Hotshots are ready to atone for their PBA Philippine Cup letdown.

The Gilas Pilipinas forward said Purefoods players are showing a lot of fire and passion in practice under the watchful eyes of multi-titled coach Tim Cone as they prepare for their Commissioner's Cup title defense.

“First week pa lang ng practice, nandiyan na uli yung defense namin. Walang kaibi-kaibigan sa practice though pagkatapos naman, nandun uli ang kulitan,” Pingris shared to just before heading to the team’s practice on Tuesday at Ronac gym in San Juan.

The Hotshots don’t have an import at the moment, though old hand Marqus Blakely is ready to suit up in the event they fail to sign a bigger reinforcement in time.

[See Marqus Blakely set to arrive to be Purefoods' stand-in import in Commissioner's Cup]

Still, Pingris explained the need for the team to regain their defensive spunk, pointing out that the two Philippine Cup Finals protagonists — San Miguel Beer and Alaska - reached the “big stage” because of their defense.

“Yung depensa namin ang kailangan naming ibalik, kasi sa Finals, yung Alaska at San Miguel, sila ang top two teams sa depensa. Kaya kung sino man ang manalo sa dalawa, deserving talaga silang mag-champion,” he added.

The Gilas mainstay hopes the Hotshots’ early playoff exit in the Philippine Cup would serve as a wake-up call as they attempt to bounce back strong in the mid-season import conference.

“Kailangan ibalik kung ano ang nawala sa amin. Kasi last conference, parang wala kaming gana maglaro kaya nung wala na kami sa semis, dun lang kami nagising,” said the 33-year-old Pingris.

Purefoods Star plays its first game in the Commissioner’s Cup on January 30 when it faces GlobalPort at the Cuneta Astrodome.


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