Rivals in PBA, bros in Gilas: Pingris happy to team up with Abueva
CHANGSHA CITY, China – Marc Pingris and Calvin Abueva play the same position for their mother clubs in the PBA and have had some very memorable physical confrontations in the last three seasons.
Well into the Gilas Pilipinas training camp, after Pingris had a change of heart and said that he wanted to play for the national team again, many even said that it was Abueva’s spot he was in danger of taking.
The passion in playing for flag-and-country has taken away the animosity they previously had against each other, with Pingris saying that he is honored to have Abueva as a teammate.
“I’m so happy that we are teammates now,” Pingris told scribes in Filipino after shooting 12 points in a 99-65 win over India on Tuesday afternoon. “In the PBA, there are times when we really try to hurt each other.
“But playing for Gilas, we combine our energy, especially on defense where we are most effective,” Pingris, who now calls Abueva “’Tol (brother in the vernacular),” added. “It’s an honor for me to be playing alongside him here at Gilas.”
With Pingris and Abueva enjoying a bond like they have never done before, Team Philippines has one of the most potent defensive lines in the Fiba Asia Olympic Qualifier here.
That’s definitely good news for the national team, but not so for some PBA followers back home, who are driven into watching the games live to see Abueva and Pingris mix it up like they did in the old days.
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