Star rookie Norbert Torres eager to learn from Marc Pingris, get reunited with Ian Sangalang
Norbert Torres is glad to team up with Ian Sangalang (third from left) again, and the latter is pleased to get frontcourt support for Star. Jerome Ascano

NORBERT Torres tried to make an impression in his first practice with Star on Tuesday afternoon by staying on the Ronac gym court after practice as long as he could.

“I wanted to get in some extra work,” the Hotshots’ first-round pick at eighth overall said in a short chat with

Yet the former De La Salle wasn’t the only one doing extra work as Marc Pingris was also on one side of the court working on his free throws.

There, Torres saw a glimpse of the character of his new teammate and fellow big man, a 33-year-old six-year team mainstay who never ceases to show his dedication to his craft.

“We still haven’t gone on full-on scrimmage yet, but I can already see his leadership on and off the court,” Torres said after a light practice that assistant coaches Johnny Abarrientos and Mon Jose conducted in lieu of Jason Webb, who is in the US for a previous commitment.

“So I hopefully I’ll be learning some leadership skills from him (Pingris).”

[See Pingris rejoins Gilas practice, hopes to be taken back]

Pingris eventually called it a practice, leaving Torres as the last man on the court, carrying on even with the lights already turned off.

It was his first step in the right direction for the touted freshman, who could be an integral piece in the team's rebuilding frontline, along with fit-again Ian Sangalang.

“It’s a great honor to be considered to be one of those go-to guys, if ever, in the future. But it’s not going to come easy,” Torres said. “You have to put in a lot of hard work. You have to go through the steps to get to that point in your career.”

Sangalang welcomed his former Philippine 18-Under squad teammate Torres.

“Masaya ako ngayon kasi syempre kailangan rin namin ng big man,” he said. “Last conference, 'yun 'yung wala sa amin. So at least ngayon marami na kaming palit-palitan. Masu-sustain namin 'yung (gagawin ng) first five.”

“Kailangan lang niya mag-adjust sa physicality ng PBA,” Sangalang added of the 6-foot-6 Torres. “Maliit na bagay lang naman ‘yun. Kaya niya rin yun.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos