After coming to terms with the sad reality of leaving a couple of Gilas ‘family’ members behind, Marc Pingris took the time to personally have a heart-to-heart talk with Calvin Abueva and LA Tenorio.
Just like how coaches and management felt about the process, it was a hard pill to swallow for Pingris, but as a veteran, he quickly gathered himself to empathize with his basketball brothers.
“Kung ako man yung natanggal, hindi ako magagalit or maiinis, pero malulungkot ako kasi nandun na yung tipong talagang gustong maglaro, lahat naman kami eh,” said Pingris to FOX Sports. “Gusto ko magpasalamat muna kay Calvin and LA, yung oras na binigay nila na imbes nasa pamilya nila, pero andun, nag-eensayo sa ibang bansa.”
The Star Hotshots forward shared he first approached the younger Abueva for one-on-one pep talk in his room right after the Gilas 12 announcement.
On his message to the ‘The Beast’, Pingris said: “‘Wag ka mawalan ng pag-asa, hindi ito yung last na mag gi-Gilas ka, marami pang taon, so pag-ininvite ka ulit, pumunta ka ulit, ipakita mo sa kanila na karapat dapat dito, na talagang gusto mo maglaro, wag ka magtatampo sa kanila.”
“Sabi ko rin kung ano yung paglalaro mo, ganun pa rin, 100% bigay mo pa rin,” he added.
If his conversation with Abueva was about keeping him motivated, Pingris said his talk with Tenorio was more of passing on the heavy responsibility on setting a good example to the younger guys.
“Sabi naman niya sa akin, ikaw na bahala sa mga bata, kumbaga kasi wala na si Jimmy, wala na si Asi, si LA na yung tinitingala namin as Kuya-Kuya,” said Pingris.
The veteran group of Pingris, Tenorio, and Ranidel de Ocampo, all in their 30’s now, is deemed to be in its final year of suiting up for the national team with the Gilas cadets set to take over after the FIBA OQT.
And now that the last opportunity has slipped away from Tenorio, Pingris couldn’t thank him enough for his sacrifice.
“’Sabi ko salamat ‘tol, ingat ka palagi. Kumbaga kahit di kayo makapaglaro, part pa rin kayo ng Gilas, lahat naman tayo, so nagpapasalamat kami sa kanila,” he closed. – By Jason Mercene
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