MARC Pingris is confident San Mig’s second unit can sustain the energy and momentum as the grand slam-seeking team tries to fulfill its date with destiny in the PBA Governors Cup.
Pingris said the Mixers’ veteran starters have yet to take a break since the league adopted a compact schedule this season - all the more reason for their bench players to step up every time their numbers are called.
“Experienced na si coach (Tim Cone) eh. Di niya kami (starters) binababad,” said Pingris after the Mixers' 76-66 victory over Barako Bull in their opening game in the season-ending tournament on Wednesday night.
“Ang kailangan lang 'yung second group bantayan 'yung energy na kahit five minutes lang ang laruin nila eh may energy din,” added the San Mig star.
Pingris admitted the rigors of a long season, including his stint with Gilas Pilipinas, is beginning to take its toll on him.
“Kasi grabe, parang isang taon na akong di nagpapahinga. Pero ito 'yung binigay ni Lord sa amin na trabaho, so hindi dapat 'yung tatlong championship na kami eh petiks petiks na kami,” he added.
Along with Commissioner’s Cup Finals MVP James Yap, Philippine Cup Finals MVP Mark Barroca, Peter June Simon, and Joe Devance, Pingris played huge minutes over the last two seasons where the Mixers have won three league titles and made two Final Four appearances.
But among the San Mig veterans, Pingris has played almost non-stop since early last year especially after being picked to play for the national team in early 2013.
Pingris eventually played a key role for Gilas Pilipinas, which placed runner-up in last year’s Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship in Manila last year to punch a ticket to this year’s Fiba-World Cup in Spain.
The energetic San Mig big man will once join the national team in Spain as well as in the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea once the Governors Cup is over.
Gilas Pilipinas is also set to play in the Fiba Asia Cup in Wuhan, China this July as part of the team’s buildup for the World Cup and the Incheon Asiad this September.