Marc Pingris hopeful dad can watch Gilas play in Italy

Marc Pingris hopes to see his father Jean Marc, Sr. watch him play when Gilas Pilipinas clashes with Italy at the opening of the short 4-nation pocket tournament in Bologna on Saturday.

The 34-year-old Pingris said he already sent a text message to his dad, asking him if he could watch Gilas’ games in the pocket tournament that also involved Canada and 2016 FIBA Asia men’s champion China.

“Nag-text ako sa kaniya (dad). Pero di ko lang alam kung manonood siya or hindi, kasi tinanong ko siya kung manunuod siya, ang sabi niya titingnan niya lang daw,” Pingris told FOX Sports upon arriving in Bologna Friday.

The energetic Star forward said it’s been over a year since he last saw his dad, who flew all the way to Manila from Normandy in early 2015.

Asked if he plans to pay a quick visit to his father if the latter fails to see him in Italy, Pingris replied in the negative.

“More than a year ko na rin siyang hindi nakita, pero masyadong tight din ang schedule namin dito kaya wala ng time talaga mag-tour,” he said.

Nonetheless, he has asked his dad to accompany Gilas assistant coach Josh Reyes to France.

Reyes, son of former Gilas coach Chot, has been assigned to scout France, the Philippine national squad’s first opponent in the opening day of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying tournament in Manila set to start on July 5.

Gilas wraps up its Bologna tournament on Sunday where it will face either China or Canada, before flying back to Manila on Monday.

The Filipinos then play their last tuneup game against Turkey on July 1, before seeing action 4 days later at the opening of the Olympic qualifying tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena. – By Richard Dy

Follow this writer on Twitter: @richava

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