Marc Pingris and Ranidel De Ocampo have fought countless battles both against each other and on one team — Gilas Pilipinas.
But their one shining moment came during the 2013 FIBA Asia Cup after the two helped the Philippines finally overcome the South Korean curse and punch the country’s ticket to the World Cup.
Seven years after that fateful game — which will forever live on in Philippine basketball history — De Ocampo, now 38, announced his retirement. And his good friend Pingris took the opportunity to throw a quip at him.
“Toy, huwag ka na umiyak, love naman kita eh,” read Pingris’ message on Instagram.
“Del, pati ako napaiyak mo.”
What Pingris was recalling was the post-game press conference after Gilas’ 86-79 win that saw both men overcome with emotion.
“Gusto ko lang magpasalamat sa lahat ng naniniwala… Pasensya hindi ko mapigilan ‘yung iyak. Para po sa lahat ang lahat ng sakripisyo at paghihirap namin sa Gilas,” said De Ocampo, who had 11 points during that game — including a key triple with 1:34 left.
“Alam niyo po, umiyak po ako nung nag-champion ako sa Talk ‘N Text, pero hindi ganito ka-grabe.”
It was a memory that Filipinos will never ever forget — including Pingris.
“Salamat sa mga time na mag kalaro tayong dalawa. Alam ko madaming bata ang gagaya sa yapak mo,” shared Pingris, who also won gold with De Ocampo during the 2003 SEA Games and two FIBA Asia silvers.
“Dami ko gusto sabihin Toy pero saka nalang pag nag kwentuhan tayo sa farm.”
After giving so much to the game of basketball, Pingris has accepted the fact that it was time for his good friend to come home.
“Salamat sa time mo sa PBA at sa Gilas. Ngayon family time naman.”