Gilas star Marc Pingris takes advantage of break to cheer for FEU in Game Two
Marc Pingris is on a three-week break with San Mig after his stint with Gilas in the Fiba World Cup and the Asian Games. Jerome Ascano

A TIME to relax and support his alma mater.

San Mig Coffee forward Marc Pingris was an interested spectator in Game Two of the UAAP men’s basketball finals Wednesday between Far Eastern University and National University played before a cheering crowd of 25,000 at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.

Pingris went out his way to watch the match as he is currently on a three-week break since arriving in the country last week along with the rest of Gilas Pilipinas following the team’s stint in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.

At the same time, he heartily cheered the Tamaraws from ringside, having been part of FEU in the late 90s in a short-lived stint with the school.

“Talo kami nun sa La Salle sa Finals. Bangko pa ako nun,” Pingris told, recalling his FEU team losing the title series to a Green Archers side led by Mike Cortez.

Although the Tamaraws lost to the Bulldogs, 62-47, that forged a winner-take-all match for the championship, Pingris said there’s still nothing compared to playing college basketball, owing to the electric atmosphere inside the playing venue and the passion of the players.

“Sobrang sarap pa rin maglaro sa UAAP. Talagang babalik-balikan mo kasi nandun yung manggigigil ka, at sarap panoorin sila (players) maglaro,” he said.

From FEU, Pingris transferred to PSBA, and later saw action in defunct leagues Metropolitan Basketball Association and the Philippine Basketball League.

But it was in the PBA where Pingris really carved out a name as a player, forming a dreaded trio with James Yap and Peter June Simon at San Mig Coffee, which won the league’s last four championships including a rare grand slam a season ago.

For now, Pingris is enjoying his brief break as he stays away from the gym and basketball while trying to recover from a busy offseason that saw him play for Gilas Pilipinas in the Fiba World Cup in Spain and the Asiad.  

But he’s expected to rejoin the Mixers by October 25.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @richava