Feb 22, 2021

Pingris' career in a bind

MARC Pingris is at the crossroad of his PBA career.

The veteran forward has yet to sign a contract with Magnolia as he continues to recuperate from a lateral calf muscle injury that has kept him out of action for more than a year now.

Coach Chito Victolero is in constant communication with one of his team leaders, though they haven't discussed yet about the plans of the 39-year-old native of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan.

"Ang naging usapan namin siguro by March meron na tayong update kay Ping, "said Victolero. "Actually, hinihintay ko din siya, pero ayaw ko naman siyang madaliin dahil meron din naman siyang programang sinusundan.

"Right now, regular naman niyang pinapalakas yung injured sa kanya."

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The 6-foot-4 nine-time champion last saw action for the Hotshots during the 2019 Governors' Cup.

Although listed in the active roster, Pingris didn't play for the team against then defending champion San Miguel during the opener of the Philippine Cup last year. He later skipped joining the Hotshots in the bubble during the season restart in Clark, Pampanga.

As of writing, Pingris has yet to join the team workout.

Victolero doesn't want to second-guess what Pingris' next move will be.

"Ayaw kong mauna kung anuman yung sasabihin ni Ping. I just want to respect the person dahil grabe naman talaga yung contribution niya not only with the Purefoods franchise, but with the entire basketball community dito sa Pilipinas," stressed Victolero when he appeared in the sports program The Chasedown.

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"Yung respect kailangan nating ibigay sa kanya."Victolero said Pingris himself is trying to approximate how far his health could hold once he's done with his rehabilitation.

Nonetheless, the Hotshots still reserved a spot in their lineup for Pingris should he decide to resume his playing career.(RG)