HE may be a bundle of energy inside the court, but Marc Pingris was the first to admit his body is starting to feel the toll of playing continuous basketball since last year’s Fiba-Asia Men’s Championship.
Perhaps no player in Gilas Pilipinas’ current 17-man pool has seen more action than Pingris, who, after his stint with the national team during the qualifier for the Fiba-World Cup in Spain, had to endure an exhilarating Game Seven for San Mig in the Finals of the PBA Governors Cup against Petron last season, and then was stretched to the limit in the playoffs of the Philippine Cup by Talk `N Text (quarterfinals) and Ginebra (semifinals) before winning the title in six games against Rain or Shine.
For a week now, Pingris said he has not joined in the daily practices of San Mig, and likewise sat out the first official practice of the national team to the world basketball tournament on Monday night at the Philsports Arena.
“Medyo pagod na nga e,” said Pingris, who showed up in civilian clothes for the team’s light hour-long shooting. “Kaya parang nilalagnat nga ako e. Naramdaman ko na siya nung Games Five and Six ng Finals, pero parang ngayon na lang lumabas. But pagaling na rin naman.”
The 6-foot-4 power forward said he’s just been eating and resting at home since the Mixers bagged their 11th franchise title last week.
“Pahinga lang talaga dahil masyadong bugbog ang katawan. Pero trabaho natin 'yan e. May few days pa naman ako para magpahinga,” said Pingris, who’s slated to start practicing for San Mig on Friday.
Both Gilas coach and San Mig counterpart Tim Cone advised him to just relax and take basketball out of his system even for just a short time.
“Relax lang daw at walang gagawin ngayon. Walang workout, walang basketball.”
Injuries are likewise not a concern for him especially the one he suffered in his right eye which JR Quinahan of Rain or Shine accidentally poked during Game Four of the Finals.
“Wala namang iniinda na, kailangan lang talaga ng konting pahinga,” he said.
Aside from Pingris, Japeth Aguilar, Greg Slaughter, Marcio Lassiter, Jared Dillinger, and June Mar Fajardo also didn’t suit up and just observed on the bench as the nationals did their shooting drills and practice some new plays.
Only Paul Lee among the three new faces in the Gilas pool joined the team on the court together with Gabe Norwood, Jimmy Alapag, Jayson Castro, Ranidel De Ocampo, Gary David, Beau Belga, Larry Fonacier, LA Tenorio, and naturalized player Marcus Douthit.
Jeff Chan was the only player who was a no-show as he is currently in Bacolod with his family and failed to make it back to Manila in time for the team’s first practice.