Pingris tells new Gilas: Take advantage of this opportunity
Missing the feeling of being in the national team, Marc Pingris made a surprise visit to Gilas Pilipinas’ weekly evening practices on Monday at Meralco Gym.
Though in street clothes this time out, the Star forward felt that he was still part of the squad as he made true of coach Chot Reyes’ words of, “Once a Gilas, always a Gilas.”
“I missed seeing the name ‘Pilipinas’ and that’s why I came here,” he said. “I also told coach before that I would go because I want to see them and leave a message for the team.”
Pingris chatted first with former Gilas teammates Jayson Castro and Calvin Abueva in the sidelines before making his way to center court to have a short talk with Reyes. And so far, he liked what he saw from the squad.
“I told coach Chot that the team is OK because he has a lot of young guys and we have more big men now. He has a lot to choose from,” he said.
Pingris also believes that this pool will be better prepared with the weekly trainings geared towards heloing players develop chemistry in time for the international competitions.
“At least this time, they have a chance to understand each other and be exposed on how each one plays. It’s a big thing that they have the time to bond,” he said.
Pingris reminded the players was to take this opportunity to heart, the same way he did back when he became the embodiment of the word “puso” (heart) in the past Gilas iterations.
“I told the players that these opportunities are rare so they have to grab this,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult, but I told them that the kids who look up to you will be proud and you’ll be their inspiration as they hope to one day, play for Gilas too.”