PBA: Nards Pinto grateful after being voted All-Star but admits other players ‘more deserving’
MANILA, Philippines—Nards Pinto himself was surprised at being voted by fans to take part in next month’s PBA All-Star Game, even if he’s aware of criticisms surrounding his inclusion over other deserving players.
“Siyempre di ko naman control yung pangyayari (Of course, it was beyond my control that it happened),” Pinto told The Inquirer before Ginebra took on Blackwater in their PBA Governors’ Cup game Sunday at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
Pinto garnered 1,146,069 after the two-week balloting that ended last Feb. 15, good for 23rd among 24 players selected to take part in the exhibition classic that is making a return after a four-year absence.
This despite Pinto’s numbers of 6.2 points, 4.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.0 steals in the Philippine Cup and 2.4 points, 1.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 0.6 steals in Ginebra’s Commissioner’s Cup title run.
His scoring jumped in the season-ending conference to 10.4 points going into the Blackwater match with 1.4 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.8 steals.
But some observers felt the likes of Terrafirma’s Juami Tiongson or Converge’s Maverick Ahanmisi would have been deserving choices, given their performance through the league’s 47th season.
“Alam naman natin na mas madaming deserving sa spot ko, pero binoto ako ng mga tao e,” he said. “At yung mga tao na nagsasabi na hindi ako deserving, opinyon nila yun e, wala tayong magagawa dyan kaya sobrang blessed ako at binoto ako.”
(We all know that there are players who deserve to have my spot, but I was voted by the fans. Those who felt that I don’t deserve to play, that’s their opinion and we can’t do anything about it. I’m just blessed that I was voted in.)
The Ginebra factor is something Pinto acknowledges. He’s one of eight Gin Kings picked to take part in the Passi City event slated March 9 to 12, along with leading vote-getter Japeth Aguilar and Scottie Thompson, who will be the captains for their respective teams.
Jamie Malonzo, Christian Standhardinger, LA Tenorio and Stanley Pringle were also selected while the other surprise inclusion was rookie Jeremiah Gray.
“Blessed ako na binoto ako ng mga…sabihin natin mga Ginebra fans,” he said. “Pero di ko talaga inexpect na mapapasali ako sa All-Star.”
(I’m blessed that I was voted by the Ginebra fans, but I didn’t expect that I would be an All-Star.)