SAN Mig’s bruising forward Marc Pingris admitted that with every bump, he felt the brute physical strength of Petron’s rookie center June Mar Fajardo in the PBA Governors Cup Finals opener on Friday night.
In the end, he was left in awe by how his Gilas teammate's game has improved by leaps and bounds.
“Ang laki ng in-improve niya (Fajardo). Siguro mula nung ma-train siya sa Gilas, sobrang umibabaw na laro niya,” said Pingris after San Mig’s 84-100 blowout loss to Petron in Game One at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Pingris finished with 16 points and six boards for San Mig but admitted he was left drained in 33 minutes of trying to chase Petron import Elijah Millsap while being defended at the other end by Fajardo.
While recognizing the marked improvement in Fajardo's game, Pingris only had one piece of advice for his frontline partner in the national team.
"Bata pa siya, saka future ito na player natin na kailangan alagaan. Sana huwag lang lumaki ulo niya, Maging humble lang. Alam ko, tinuturuan siya ni Danny I (Ildefonso)," he said.
Pingris added he’ll be studying tapes on Game One to see where he could adjust on the defensive end particularly against Millsap, who peppered the Mixers with 35 points along with 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
“Okay naman ang first half ko, pero pag-aaralan ko yan (defending Millsap). Gagawan ako ng paraan kasi sunod-sunod na rin ang tira niya sa labas saka kasi napagod din ako sa depensa, yung pagtulak kay June Mar,” said the former PSBA Blue Jaguar big man.
“So pagdating sa import, halos ubos na rin lakas ko kaya next game, kailangan maipakita namin ang gigil namin.”