MARC Pingris and RR Garcia have signed separated maximum deals with Star as the Hotshots map out their future in the post-James Yap era.
The 35-year-old Pingris, who, for a long time was part of the team’s deadly trio with Peter June Simon and Yap, inked a new two-year contract, while Garcia, acquired by the franchise in the last Governors Cup, was given a three-year deal.
The signings were confirmed by Star board of governor Rene Pardo to SPIN.ph on Thursday.
“We’re happy to have them back on the team, and we expect them to play crucial roles like the past seasons for the Hotshots now under coach Chito (Victolero),” said Pardo.
Team captain and veteran forward Rafi Reavis was also signed to a one-year pact.
The contracts however, don’t mean the two are already assured of their slots with the Hotshots.
Yap was already signed by the franchise that serves as home to him the past 13 years when the team suddenly pushed on the trade button and dealt him to Rain or Shine in exchange for prolific guard Paul Lee. Yap agreed to a new two-year contract which the Elasto Painters have now assumed.
Pardo said the team is still looking to acquire a big man especially the Hotshots are overloaded with players at the backcourt with the presence of Lee, Garcia, Mark Barroca, Justin Melton, and Alex Mallari.
“Masyado kaming puno sa guard, parang security agency kami,” he said. “Coach Chito wants a big man in return kung magkaroon man ng trade.”
Lee hasn’t signed up yet with the Hotshots, although he had a standing three-year, max offer from Rain or Shine when he was trade in exchange for Yap.
The former University of the East star is currently in Hong Kong for a brief honeymoon after getting married to long-time beau Rubi Chua last Tuesday.
He’s expected to be back in the country over the weekend in time to join the Hotshots for the 2016 Rookie Draft.
“Bagong kasal naman kaya pinayagan naming mag-bakasyon, pero sabi ko babalik siya sa Saturday para makasama siya ng team sa Rookie Draft,” said Pardo.
“Ang napag-usapan namin is pagbalik na niya kami mag-uusap. Pero nag-eensayo na si Paul sa amin.”