MANILA, Philippines – Marc Pingris is back in Gilas Pilipinas and the basketball fans will see more of him in action as Gilas Coach Tab Baldwin said the Star Hotshots power forward will be playing a lot in their coming games.
Pingris along with the rest of the national basketball team, went to Taiwan for the William Jones Cup Invitational, which began on Saturday, August 29.
At first, the “Pinoy Sakuragi” said he will not join the team because of some things that can’t be controlled and even dropped by the national team’s practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig on August 15 to formally excuse himself from joining the Gilas Pilipinas pool but last week, he announced he had changed his mind and wanted to join the national team if they will have him back.
In a previous interview, the American-Kiwi coach said that although they welcomed Pingris back on the team, he has a lot of catching up to do.
He said: “We welcomed Marc in, but we talked about the fact that he’s missed a lot. So it’s a big burden on his shoulders to catch up as fast as he can, because the reality is we now have to stop our progress and wait for Marc to catch up.”
“We don’t have any more of that to waste. So Marc’s gotta sprint to catch up to us,” he added.
Even Pingris admitted he is having a hard time to learn about the new plays Baldwin has taught the team over the past three weeks ,but he is willing to take the challenge.
“He will be playing a lot,” Baldwin said on Saturday afternoon, August 29; as he wants Pingris to get in shape quickly and catch up with the team’s systems.
He is one of the players included in the preliminary 24-man Philippine basketball team lineup submitted for consideration by the Samahan ng Basketbol Pilipinas (SBP) for the upcoming 2015 International Basketball Federation (FIBA) Asia Championship.
The squad is set to face Chinese Taipei-A on Sunday night, August 30, at Xinchuang Gymnasium for their first match.
After the William Jones Cup Invitational, Gilas Pilipinas will open its campaign in the 2015 FIBA Asia Men’s Championship against Palestine at the Changsha Social Work College gymnasium on September 23.