Marc Pingris makes much-awaited return for the Hotshots after 16-month absence

The wait for the much-anticipated return of charismatic Hotshots veteran Marc Pingris is now over after the 37-year old native of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan suited up for Magnolia’s game against the Phoenix Pulse Fuel Masters, Saturday night at the Cuneta Astrodome,

Pingris, who came down with an ACL/MCL injury during Game 1 of the semifinals of last season’s Philippine Cup against NLEX, was scoreless in 7 minutes of action but grabbed 3 rebounds.

All in all, the 15-year PBA veteran missed a total of 66 games in 473 days, as per league head statistician Fidel Mangonon.

“Sobrang excited. Actually, kagabi pa lang inayos ko na yung gamit ko – yung panlaro ko, kung ano yung susuutin ko. Excited talaga. Tapos nag-pray kami ni Danica,” said Pingris shortly after the match.

“Talagang nagpapasalamat lang kami kay Lord na binigyan niya talaga ako ng sobrang patience sa sarili.”

The nine-time PBA champion admitted that there were a lot of times that he already felt like giving up but constant support from family, friends and fans kept him going.

“Gusto ko ring magpasalamat sa mga nag-text sa akin na hindi ko kilala. May nag-text pa nga sa akin kanina isang lalaki, ‘Kuya Ping, na-ACL ako noong June 20, kailangan ko bang magpa-opera o hindi?’ Ang dami nagte-text sa akin.”

“Tapos noong nakikita nila sa Instagram ko na unti-unti akong nakakabalik, siguro isa rin sila sa mga nag-push sa akin na, ‘Oh, kailangan mo talagang magpalakas para sa mga taong ito.’ Kasi tinitignan nila ako eh,” said Pingris.

With regards to game shape, Pingris said that he is at about 60% but his injury is already 100% healed.

“Hundred percent okay naman siya kasi dalawang beses akong pumasa sa hop test ko eh. Okay siya pero gaya ng sinabi, tuloy-tuloy pa rin yung rehab.”

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