PLAYING for the flag entails a lot of sacrifice.
That goes for San Mig Coffee star Jean Marc Pingris as he gets ready to join the Gilas Pilipinas team that is set to compete before home fans in the Fiba-Asia Men's Basketball Championship this August.
Pingris has been given the green light by the San Miguel organization to join Gilas, but answering the call means cancelling a long-planned trip to France for a reunion with his dad and namesake Jean Marc Pingris, Sr.
The Pozurrubio Pangasinan-raised dribbler had long planned the trip to attend an important family gathering in France with his wife Danica and kids Jean Michelle and Caila.
“Malaking event kasi sa family namin yun eh," said Pingris.
The San Mig power forward has yet to summon the guts to tell his dad the bad news, saying he prefers to wait until the Gilas summon becomes official before making the overseas call to France.
But San Mig governor Rene Pardo told Spin.ph that Pingris is officially in the team because Gilas has already informed them of the loan.
“Tumawag na sa amin and sinabi nga na hihiramin si Pingris. We’re giving our full support to the national team," said Pardo. "So pwede nang tumawag si Marc sa daddy niya."
Meanwhile, Pingris, one of the players under the San Miguel organization who national coach Chot Reyes has long coveted, said he is looking forward to playing for flag and country.
“Syempre masaya ako maglaro sa national team … Karangalan ito eh na maipapagmamalaki ng mga anak ko balang araw”, said the 31-year-old, who is married to the daughter of comedian-TV host Vic Sotto.