Marc Pingris has yet to play for over a year now, but he still has an impact on his Magnolia Hotshots.
Ian Sangalang credited the 37-year-old forward for giving him the necessary push, which brought magic to Magnolia in Game Three of their Philippine Cup semifinal series with the Ran or Shine Elasto Painters, Tuesday.
After going scoreless in the first half, Sangalang said that Pingris talked to him during the halftime break. And that was all the 6-foot-7 slotman needed to get going in the second half, where Magnolia played like their usual selves.
Sangalang would go on to score all of his 16 points in the last two quarters, including 12 in the final frame alone where he spearheaded the Hotshots’ closing rally to turn a 71-all deadlock with 5:12 left to play to an 85-74 win.
“Nung first half, tinignan ko lang yung sitwasyon kung ano pwede magawa ko. Well, wala ako nagawa, pero nag-think positive lang ako coming into the second half. Si Ping ni-lift up niya ako, sobrang thankful ako,” Sangalang said.
“Naa-appreciate ko paano niya ako i-motivate. Siguro nanggaling na yung laro ko kay Ping,” he added.
“Lagi niya naman ako sinasabihan na once nakuha ko na yung laro ko, babalik na ako. Positive lang. Lagi niya ako namo-motivate.”
Sangalang finds more satisfaction in how Magnolia avoided a dangerous 0-3 hole in the race-to-four series, and in that they will head into the Lenten break with momentum on their side.
“Positive lang kami. Kahit anong mangyari, ‘di kami gi-give up. Bibigay pa rin namin yung best namin, ‘di kami pwedeng matalo dito. ‘Pag matalo kami sobrang hirap na eh, so binigyan namin ng chance sarili namin na manalo,” the product of San Sebastian shared.
“Makaka-pahinga kami, tapos yung mometum sa’min. Kahit papaano nabigyan namin sila ng pressure, yun lang hinihingi namin eh. Yung game nila nung Game One tsaka Two parang wala silang pressure eh, basketball lang sila,” he continued.
“Hinihingi lang namin na mabigyan sila kahit konting pressure man lang, para coming to Game Four, makakuha ulit kami ng panalo.”
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