Marc Pingris did not mince any words as the Star Hotshots, are now on the verge of bowing out of the 2017 Governor’s Cup playoffs, following their Game Two semis loss to Meralco Bolts, Tuesday night in Santa Rosa, Laguna.
The veteran forward’s lashing out was not because of the way he and his team had played that led to the humiliating 74-98 defeat. Instead, what makes Pingris irate is the Hotshots’ lack of response to their losses.
“Sabi naman ni coach (Chito Victolero) sana may matutunan na talaga kami sa nangyayari,” said Pingris after the match, where he had scored just five. “Lagi niyang sinasabi sana may matutunan, pero parang sa tingin ko wala kaming natututunan eh.
“Wala kaming natututunan sa mga talo namin eh. Parang hindi semis.”
The numbers speak highly of what Pingris is talking about. Star have shot 32 percent from the floor in Games One and Two, while committing a high 18.5 turnovers per contest
And their defense — which has been their bread-and-butter under coach Chito Victolero — has been loose, especially in Game Two, allowing Meralco to shoot an excellent 53 percent from the field, highlighted by 14 treys.
This has been the narrative for Star all season long — they always start with a lot of promise and high hopes in every conference, but once the semifinal stage comes up, they falter.
And the eleven-year veteran is getting tired of it.
“Every semis na lang ganito. Three-peat na nga yata namin ‘tong semis na to eh,” said the 35-year-old, who has yet to reach the Finals since 2014.
“Gusto naman namin makapasok sana ng Finals pero wala, kulang pa talaga.”
The Hotshots’ backs are now against the wall, and a loss in Game Three this Thursday means the end. Pingris knows that a do-or-die match will always be daunting, but he remains hopeful that they can still live to fight another day.
“Mahirap yun pero ta-try namin. Sobrang hirap yun pero ita-try namin,” said the eight-time champion. “Tingnan natin, malay mo, ‘di ba? Laro na lang.
“Enjoy enjoy na lang, enjoy life.”
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