Published: July 30, 2013
Marc Jean Pingris
Marc Jean Pingris said yesterday it’s time to step up.
The remark came after forward Ranidel Ocampo was injured during the exhibition game against Kazakhstan last Friday and may play limited minutes. He also may miss three or four days of practice.
Pingris issued a call to other frontline players of Gilas Pilipinas to be ready to step up when competition starts in the FIBA-Asia Championship on Thursday at the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena in Pasay City.
Although the 6-foot-6 De Ocampo is expected to suit up against Saudi Arabia, there’s a possibility that he may play limited minutes even against Jordan and Taiwan – the other teams in Group A.
“I spoke to my teammates, especially Japeth (Aguilar), June Mar (Fajardo) and Marcus (Douthit), that with Ranidel injured, we have to step up. It has to be a team effort, particularly for us big men with one player injured,” said Pingris.
This is the first time for Pingris to play in the Asian championship, which is the qualifier to the World Championship next year in Spain.
“Of course I’m excited, with some pressure, which is just normal I think. Imagine I’ll be playing against several NBA players from China, and Iran. But when the game starts, we’ll be focused on winning for flag and country,” Pingris said.
In the rotation of Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes, the 6-foot-4 Pingris shares playing minutes with the 6-foot-9 Aguilar and De Ocampo at the power forward spot, while 6-foot-10 Fajardo plays back up to 6-foot-11 naturalized Douthit at center.