Marc Pingris is no stranger to basketball’s high level of physicality. On Wednesday night, during the Magnolia Hotshots’ clash with bottom-ranked team Kia Picanto, the 14-year veteran became a casualty once more.
The 35-year-old busted his upper lip after accidentally falling face-first into the shoulder of Kia’s Jackson Corpuz with 7:35 in the first quarter. He was then seen putting pressure on the wound with a towel to stop the bleeding.
But for Pingris, it’s not much of an issue, saying that it’s all part of the game.
“Part naman ng game yun eh, ‘di naman natin maiiwasan yung ganyan,” he said. “Pero pasalamat naman ako kay Lord na butas lang naman.
“Okay lang, basta ako, part lang ng game yun, ‘di naman sinasadya eh.”
The wound is definitely painful than imagined, but the outspoken forward even made fun of it.
“Hindi ko alam kung ano na naman ang kakainin ko ngayon,” he quipped. “Mangga ata, manggang hilaw. Mas masarap dito sa sugat ‘di ba? I’m so thankful naman kay Lord na ganito lang, hindi natanggal yung ngipin ganun.
“Medyo pogi pa rin ng konti.”
Pingris has plenty of reasons to smile about Wednesday night though. He and the Hotshots have went back to their winning ways as they thrashed the Picanto by an embarrassing 47-point margin, 124-77, to improve their record to 2-1.
“I’m happy na nakuha namin yung laro ngayon,” said Pingris, who collected six points, four rebounds, and two assists in 21 minutes.
Seeing himself in Ian Sangalang
What made him even more elated was the kind of game he saw from his teammates particularly Ian Sangalang, who was among the Hotshots’ top performers with 21 points, nine boards, two dimes, and two steals.
“Si Ian Sanggalang talaga sobrang step up every game,” praised the eight-time champion of the second overall pick of the 2013 PBA Rookie Draft.
“Nakikita ko sa kanya siya talaga yung susunod na parang Kerby Raymundo.
“Parang Marc Pingris dati. Naks,” he added in jest, “Parang Alvin Patrimonio.”
And Pingris is so confident with the 26-year-old’s brilliance that he envisions him as the franchise’s cornerstone for years to come.
“Siguro pag nag-retire na kami, alam ko na siya na yung hahawak,” said the 14-year veteran.
“Mas puntirya ko talaga si Ian kasi nakikita ko na ang laki na ini-improve niya every game, every practice.”