It’s already painful for Marc Pingris to just be on the sidelines, as he is still recovering from his ACL injury. But what makes things more unbearable for the star power forward is to see his Magnolia Hotshots lose games.
This was the case on Wednesday night, as the 36-year-old – just like always – came to support his Hotshots at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, only to witness Henry Walker and Blackwater Elite defeat them, 84-86.
The Elite came away with the win – their very first in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup after starting the conference with seven straight losses – thanks to Walker’s tomahawk slam off a drive with about three seconds left to play.
That play, in some way, was a result of the Hotshots’ collapse on defense – Walker left Magnolia’s import Curtis Kelly in the dust and drove hard to the wide-open lane as soon as he got the ball from teammate Nard Pinto.
And that was a microcosm of the Hotshots’ problem in the loss: defense.
“Depensa talaga. Kulang sa… Sobrang daming lapses talaga. Ang daming pagkakamali sa depensa,” said the 14-year veteran after the match. “‘Di ko masasabi na yun kami kanina. Although maganda ang laban, kulang sila sa usap.
“Sana may matutunan sila sa larong ito.”
Some of the game’s stats also spoke of the Hotshots’ subpar defense. They allowed Blackwater to shoot 44.3 percent from the floor, and they also let the opposition score 46 points inside the paint.
But aside from defense, Magnolia’s effort apparently wasn’t there, as they were out-rebounded by the Elite 45-54.
However, despite the Hotshots losing their second straight outing and dropping to an even 3-3 card, the 14-year league veteran is confident that his teammates will be able to regain their footing in the coming games.
“Itong mga teammate ko naman, alam kong babawi ang mga yan. May natutunan naman sila ngayon eh. Babawi ang mga yan,” shared the eight-time PBA champion, who is out for the season after tearing his ACL during the 2018 Philippine Cup semifinals.
“Malayo pa. Kayang kaya pa yan.”