MARC Pingris is again ready to defy doctor’s orders if that is what it would take to help San Mig end the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup Finals in Game Six.
Aware that the 81-74 win fashioned out by Rain or Shine in Game Five of the title series on Sunday night had given the Elasto Painters a glimmer of hope of turning things around, Pingris said he’s willing to forego sitting out Wednesday’s match - and even Game Seven if necessary - until victory has been attained.
“Tiis-tiis lang hanggang matapos itong conference. Naka-recover naman kahit paano,” said Pingris, whose view from his reddened right eye remains blurry, underscoring how important the upcoming match is.
“Mahirap na. Pag nakuha nila Game Six, baka sila pa manalo.”
Unknown to many, Pingris was supposed to sit out Game Five. But the true warrior that he is, the Mixers star forward eventually decided to don his jersey in time for the Sunday afternoon game.
A call from teammate James Yap also helped.
“Nakakulong ako sa bahay dahil masakit pag maliwanag,” Pingris revealed in a chat with Spin.ph after Monday practice at Ronac gym in San Juan. “Pero sabi ni James, ‘Ping, kailangan kita, kailangan ka ng team. May dalawang oras ka pa para magbihis.’”
And an hour later - and just before tipoff - Pingris called Mixers assistant coach Jeff Cariaso, telling him he would play.
“Pag dating ko, lahat sila tuwang-tuwa. Pero yun, nasilat lang,” Pingris said as he saw the Mixers’ celebration get derailed after the Elasto Painters extended the best-of-seven series by cutting San Mig’s lead to 3-2.
The reluctance to suit up was partially due to ophthalmologist Chai Sanchez’s orders of prohibiting him to play.
“Pinagbawalan ako. Kailangan ko daw mag-goggles pero sabi ko hindi na,” said Pingris, who made do with contact lens and constant pouring of eye drops that acted as anesthesia.
“Nabigla siya (nung naglaro ako),” added the 32-year-old pride of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan as he went on to have another solid outing marked by 18 points and 15 boards.