Hotshots prepare for worst heading into Game 2
Magnolia could miss veteran forward Marc Pingris starting Game 2 of its best-of-seven semifinals series against NLEX and the Hotshots are already preparing for the worst.
Pingris hurt his left knee at the 4:39 mark of the fourth quarter and had to be stretchered off the court. He was immediately taken to the hospital after the game.
“He was grimacing in pain, but I hope it’s not going to be that bad. But if ever he is out of the series, we will really need to adjust,” said Magnolia guard PJ Simon in Filipino after scoring 20 points in 21 minutes off the bench.
The Hotshots were leading, 76-73, before Pingris went down and clutched his knee as he tried to drive past the Road Warriors’ JR Quiñahan.
“He’s part of the team’s core and he’s very important to us. It’s really sad but we need to move on from it. We need to prepare hard for the second game,” said Paul Lee in Filipino.
The 36-year-old Pingris, who just returned this conference after being sidelined with a recurring hip injury for several months, had five points, seven rebounds, three assists and a block in 28 minutes before the leaving Game 1.
Lee said Magnolia coach Chito Victolero had already talked to the other players to stay ready with Pingris likely out. Guards Justin Melton and Mark Barroca also got hurt in Game 1.
“It’s a long series but our problem right now is we’re a bit undermanned and hopefully, our players recover quickly from their injuries,” Simon said.
Magnolia goes for the equalizer on Monday night at Mall of Asia Arena.