Make honesty score for Gilas
COULD’VE Marc Pingris been of help to the Gilas Pilipinas team had he not begged off from the national training pool?
It’s quite hard to determine. For one, it was dismal shooting that readily doomed Gilas against The Netherlands in its first game in a four-team tournament in Estonia.
Pingris is a tested defense specialist, and he would’ve been of little help to the team when it needed points, mainly in the third quarter of the match that it lost by 27 points.
* * *
Of course, it was a no-contest when Pingris was made to beg off from the Gilas national pool shortly before the team left for the Estonia test.
Pingris, who definitely did not pull out on his own, has since reconsidered and offered to rejoin Gilas.
National coach Tab Baldwin reportedly did not hesitate to take back Pingris, who should be suiting up in the Gilas stint in the Taipei Jones Cup.
* * *
Experts and fans, naturally, were divided on the Pingris case, with some saying the tested defender “would dislodge another player with a bigger heart for the country than him.”
Pingris, truth be told, was there when he was needed. He did leave for Paris briefly. But, as he would honestly confide to reporters after an emotional farewell huddle with coach Baldwin, “some things are beyond our control.”
It was odd how Pingris’ mother outfit in the PBA had made it appear he had made a mistake in begging off from the Gilas national team.
* * *
Nothing could be odder because it has become clear Pingris all along has a heart for the national team, a heart bigger than those of his arrogant commercial league backers.
Poor Pingris had to eat his words.
But there should be a sense of triumph in Pingris’ case because, if he indeed erred in initially pulling off, it was all the result of an honest mistake.
Wrote veteran sports editor Ding Marcelo: “Trying to salvage a PR disaster, the vast San Miguel Corporation conglomerate thought of feeding the critics with a morsel which it had hoped would placate the angry and silence the skeptics. The geniuses at SMC did not even do it right. They had put words in the mouth of Marc Pingris who probably did not know he had contradicted himself.”