MANILA, Philippines – While he is still recovering from a nagging hip injury, Magnolia veteran Marc Pingris is hoping that he can suit up for the Hotshots when they take on rival Barangay Ginebra on Christmas Day at the Philippine Arena.
Pingris was one of several Magnolia players who sat out their first game of the PBA Philippine Cup on Wednesday, though the Hotshots still beat Alaska, 109-95.
Afterward, Magnolia coach Chito Victolero bared that Pingris may make his return sooner than expected.
"Malaki din ang puso nito, so he might play in the Christmas Clasico," Victolero said of the veteran big man.
Pingris said he definitely wants to play against the Gin Kings, especially as the rivalry game is expected to attract a big Christmas Day crowd at the Bulacan venue.
However, he acknowledged that he is unsure if he can do so.
"50-50 pa," he said. "Kasi kailangan kong magpakundisyon pa. Back to zero kasi ako."
"Pero kung ako lang, oo naman," Pingris added. "Kilala niyo naman ako eh. Kahit anong mangyari, bahala na kung may sakit. Tapalan na lang siguro. Masarap maglaro eh."
Pingris' status for their Christmas Day game will thus depend on how he feels on the succeeding days. The forward said he is feeling better, with the pain in his back now lessening. However, he is far from peak condition.
"Inaalala ko lang 'yung hangin ko. Kasi parang 10 days na yata ako 'di nakatakbo," he said. "'Yun 'yung unti-untiin ko."
"Bukas free throw lang muna tapos konting takbo lang. Tapos second day, third day, paunti-unti, 80% tapos 100%, doon ko talaga itotodo yung takbo. Tingnan natin kung makakaya," he added.
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