ANTIPOLO – One would expect every player from Star to register in the scoring column considering how the Hotshots shot the lights out in their 120-73 pummeling of Meralco on Saturday in the PBA Philippine Cup.
Even seldom-used rookies Chris Javier, Mon Abundo, and Samboy de Leon joined the scoring party in the most lopsided result of the conference.
But one player surprisingly wound up scoreless – Marc Pingris, who didn’t mind.
“Dino-double ako eh,” the Hotshots star said after the game. “’Sa akin naman kahit di ka umii-score, ang habol ko yung panalo eh. Di naman ako yung player na pag dinouble ako, pipilitin ko, ‘di ba? Hinahanap ko yung teammate ko rito at ang trabaho ko dito, rumebound at dumepensa.”
“Pag may pagkakataaon naman na kaya at walang double, kaya kong umi-score,” he added. “Pero pag nagdo-double sila, mas hahanapin ko yung open.”
Coming in averaging 9.2 points, Pingris was held scoreless for the first time this conference.
Still, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year made his presence felt in other areas as he contributed seven boards, three assists, and one steal, and ended up with a plus-minus of +22, only behind Justin Melton (34) and Paul Lee (33).
Pingris said it was the Hotshots’ effort on the defensive end – they held the Bolts to 38-percent shooting – that translated to their blistering offense.
“Everybody is willing to play defense kasi,” Pingris said. “Pag dumepensa ka kasi lumalabas yung opensa niyo eh, lahat nag-eenjoy kasi lahat dumedepensa. Yun yung sinasabi sa amin ni coach, defense ang magdadala sa amin sa Finals, so every day, every game and practice, yun yung ginagawa namin.”