NOT even a vintage performance from Marc Pingris could salvage some pride to Star’s disappointing campaign in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Despite the workhorse forward putting up his best offensive game of the conference, the Hotshots lost to TNT Katropa, 115-105, on Sunday night that marked their eighth loss in 10 games in the season-ending tournament.
And Pingris, who registered 17 points, is understandably heartbroken as the Hotshots entered unfamiliar territory by missing the playoffs for the first time in five years and 16 conferences or since the 2011 Commissioner’s Cup.
“Masakit pero siguro bawi na lang next conference,” Pingris said. “I wish na lahat ng pagkakamali namin, kailangan mapag-aralan talaga.”
“Hindi lang kami yung nasasaktan, pati yung fans namin eh,” he added. “Pero alam kong makakabawi din kami. Alam kong struggle kami. Pero kung ano yung bagyong dumating ngayon, babangon at babangon din kami.
“Antay lang at makaka-recover rin kami,” continued one the faces of the Hotshots franchise as his team is out of the playoff picture after only two years removed from capturing a Grand Slam.
Pingris was one of few Hotshots who tried to save some pride to their tournament campaign as he flashed vintage form by completing a double-double with 11 boards, on top of three assists, one block, and one steal in 35 minutes.
Still, it proved to be insufficient as the Hotshots, missing injured standouts James Yap and Ian Sangalang, squandered an early lead to lose by double digits against the pacesetting Texters.
“Kailangan talaga namin maglaro ng depensa hanggang huli. Yun lang naman talaga eh,” Pingris stressed. “Tsaka kung ano yung sinabi ni coach, kailangan gawin namin.”