It may have been the toughest of blows, but the Magnolia Hotshots used Marc Pingris’ season-ending injury as inspiration in fighting through the 2018 Philippine Cup semifinals against the NLEX Road Warriors.
What was initially thought as a hyper-extended knee — which Pingris incurred back in Game One last Saturday — has become much worse after a diagnosis Dr. Raul Canlas, according to Magnolia governor Rene Pardo.
Their life without the Gilas Pilipinas legend started Monday evening, in Game Two of the semifinals. The team had received the unfortunate news just hours before the game, so they dedicated the bout to Pingris.
The Hotshots even taped “#15” in their jerseys, a nod to Pingris’ jersey number.
“Nilagyan kami lahat [ng #15] sa jersey dahil kay Kuya Ping,” said point guard Jio Jalalon. “Kasi lagi nagme-message sa’min si Kuya Ping na ‘kaya namin ‘to.
“So kumbaga, malaki ring tulong yung mga sinasabi ni Kuya Ping sa’min.”
And as the final buzzer sounded at the SM Mall of Asia Arena, the Hotshots gave their esteemed leader something to be happy about, as they mauled the Road Warriors, 99-84, to send the best-of-seven series into a 1-1 deadlock.
“Wala si Ping but yung inspiration na binibigay niya sa amin, yun ang malaki,” said Magnolia head coach Chito Victolero.
“Every now and then nagte-text si Ping, sinasabi niya sa amin na gawin ang larong ito para sa buong team.”
Their Game Two win showed that they can win even with a depleted lineup — Magnolia are also without Justin Melton due to a strained hamstring — and even if the odds aren’t in their favor due to their injury woes.
But for gunner Paul Lee, the Hotshots are extra motivated this time around, even without the presence of the team’s old-timers, saying that having to deal with injuries is something that they have already encountered before.
“Nangyari na ‘to. So kailangan maging memorable sa amin ito kasi yun nga wala na kaming magagawa, si Kuya Ping injured,” said Lee.
Aljun Melecio does extra work to break out of shooting slump
PBA hails Asian Games heroes
Oliver Almadro’s motivational form debuts for Lady Eagles
Ateneo-Motolite charges past Pocari Sweat for debut win
Alab adds Brandon Rosser for title defense bid
Gabe Norwood speaks out on ‘Gilas’: ‘You can’t go out and ignore it’
SMART to banner new core for All-Filipino Conference
UAAP releases Men’s Basketball lineups
Aljun Melecio finds touch as La Salle continues dominance over UE
FEU vents ire on Bo Perasol-less UP for bounce back win
BanKo-Perlas staves off Iriga-Navy for first win
Ateneo displays championship form, dismantles NU for 2nd straight win
- 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers5 days ago
Tab Baldwin praises Yeng Guiao’s dedication: ‘He’s working hard with the time that he has’
- 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers3 days ago
Caloy Garcia thankful for Gilas opportunity
- ADMU24 hours ago
Dave Ildefonso responds to Tab Baldwin: ‘I think I made the right decision’
- Basketball4 days ago
Taane Samuel to have surgery this week