Jackson Corpuz has looked up to decorated forward Marc Pingris as his basketball hero.
And so the 30-year-old bruiser feels extremely honored now that he is playing alongside his idol in Magnolia.
Corpuz arrived to the Hotshots last December after being traded by the Columbian Dyip — where he realized his PBA dreams — for center Aldrech Ramos in a one-for-one deal.
“Ang saya. Dito yung idol ko eh, si kuya Ping. Number one ‘yan, idol ko talaga,” he said moments after Magnolia’s 90-72 win over Rain or Shine in a tuneup on Wednesday, where he had 13 points.
For Corpuz, being with the 38-year-old Pingris means plenty to him. It also makes him look forward to every practice, as he’s always eager to learn something from the Gilas Pilipinas icon.
“Sobra. Kasi every day, pagtulog ko pa lang, iniisip ko na kaagad kung anong gagawin namin kinabukasan,” he said.
“Paggising ko ng umaga, nae-excite ako kasi meron na naman akong bagong matututunan. Ano kaya ituturo sa akin ni kuya Ping, mga coaches sa akin? Ayun. Nae-excite ako.”
It has been a while since Corpuz arrived with the Hotshots, and the Philippine Christian University alumnus said that he has been adjusting well to his new team.
“Panibagong goal at adjustments sa bagong team. Nakakapag-adjust naman ako ngayon,” he said.
The 6-foot-4 forward has made a name for himself in the league as a reliable option on both ends of the floor, so there will be expectations on him on how will he deliver for the Hotshots.
But that is the least of Corpuz’s concerns. Instead, his main objective is to simply give what’s needed from him.
“Sa ngayon, hindi ko na lang iniisip ‘yung mga ganyan — hindi ako nagpapa-pressure,” he said.
“Sabi nga ni coach Chito [Victolero] sa ‘kin, kung ano ‘yung bakit ako kinuha — ‘yung energy ko, ‘yung hustle ko, ‘yung depensa ko, ‘yung rebound ganun… Sabi niya, ‘yun lang ang gawin ko,” he added.
“‘Yung points, bonus na lang para sa ‘kin. So gawin ko na lang kung anong pwede kong maitulong sa team.”
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