Pingris wants showdown with Ginebra in playoffs
“To be the best, you have to beat the best.”
And that’s exactly what Marc Pingris wants Star to do as he wishes for a collision course with defending champion Barangay Ginebra in the playoffs.
“Even if we’re twice-to-win, I want Ginebra,” said the energetic forward.
Pingris has no problems even if the odds will be stacked against the Hotshots knowing that their team will be tested early, and what better opponent to have than the reigning Governors’ Cup champion to gauge themselves.
“It’s a great feeling to play because you’ll be facing a strong team. If you can’t beat them, how can you be a champion? It’s better to face a strong team early,” he said.
Since coach Tim Cone left for the Gin Kings, the Purefoods franchise are 4-10 against its fierce rival and has lost its last four duels.
Pingris went to as far as comparing the meeting to a championship series.
“Every time we face Ginebra, we feel like we’re in the Finals. The history is there with Manila Clasico and a lot of fans are watching.”
Pingris, though, will have to wait until the finals for his dream matchup to come true and given that both teams survive their respective quarterfinals and semifinals duels.
Meralco’s 104-101 victory over San Miguel in the final eliminations game on Sunday propelled Ginebra to the No. 3 spot and Star to four.
The Gin Kings will face the Grand Slam-seeking Beermen in the playoffs, while the Hotshots will have an early rematch with the NLEX Road Warriors, whom they beat 101-93 on Sunday.
With the match-ups now set, Pingris’ focus is on Star’s cohesion as it seeks to further develop its teamwork in the quarters with reinforcement Kristofer Acox in tow.
“What’s important here is the chemistry we’re building. We changed imports so he needs to understand our games and know that it’s always going to be our defense which will help us win games,” he said.