All Marc Pingris wants for Christmas is to play in Manila Clasico
During the Magnolia Hotshots’ conference-opener against the Alaska Aces Wednesday evening, Marc Pingris was on the sidelines, shouting and cheering like a fan. He had just come off surgery to remove some kidney stones just two weeks ago.
The game saw an undermanned and ailing Hotshots team run past a much-improved Aces squad, taking a 108-95 win. Seeing this, the 13-year veteran told second-year head coach Chito Victolero that he wants to be back by Christmas when Magnolia takes on Barangay Ginebra San Miguel at the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena in Bulacan.
“Pingris, malaki ang puso nito so he might play in the Christmas Clasico.
“Kinausap niya ako kanina, baka sakali [makalaro siya],” said Victolero.
The doctor’s timetable for his return however marks January 27 as his return date. But the eight-time PBA champion, who has displayed a warrior’s spirit all throughout his illustrious career, shared that he is now pain-free but he has to get his conditioning back.
“I’m good naman, medyo wala na yung sakit sa likod ko,” Pingris, whose last game played was back in October 5, said after the game. “Inaalala ko lang yung hangin ko. Kasi parang 10 days na yata ako di nakatakbo. Yun yung unti-untin ko. Bukas free throw lang muna tapos konting takbo lang. Tapos second day, third day, paunti-unti, eighty percent tapos one-hundred percent, doon ko talaga itotodo yung takbo.
“Tingnan natin kung makakaya.”
With the highly-anticipated rivalry game just days away, Pingris will try to will himself to play — even thinking of defying what the doctor ordered.
“Pero kung ako lang, oo naman, gusto ko maglaro sa Classico. Kilala niyo naman ako eh. Bahala na kung may masakit, tapalan nalang siguro,” shared the proud son of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan.
“Masarap maglaro eh.”