LAOAG CITY – Despite a broken finger, B-MEG forward Marc Pingris has decided to start for the Veterans squad in Sunday’s PBA All-Star Game at the Centennial.
The defensive demon dubbed Pinoy Sakuragi will buck his condition to give back to the fans, who voted him as a starter in the league’s annual extravaganza.
PBA media bureau head Willie Marcial and Veterans coach Ryan Gregorio confirmed that Pingris will be playing in the game.
He was expected to skip the game after fracturing his left ring finger in Game Five of the recently-concluded Commissioner’s Cup finals. The PBA earlier tapped Meralco stalwarts Asi Taulava and Sol Mercado to beef up the Veterans squad since aside from Pingris, Talk ‘N Text forward Ranidel De Ocampo failed to show up. The Tropang Texters forward had been penciled in as a replacement for teammates Jimmy Alapag and Kelly Williams.
But Pingris has embraced the event to try to give back to the fans, even attending the basketball clinic conducted by players at the Centennial Arena on Sunday morning. He told Magoo Marjon of AKTV that he will also give out five jerseys for fans during the game.
“Ang gagawin niya pagpapatungin niya yung mga jerseys dahil ayaw niya ihagis dahil baka raw mapunit,” said Marjon.
Pingris will join teammates James Yap and JC Intal in the starting lineup of the Veterans. Also in the lineup are Gary David (Powerade), Arwind Santos (Petron), Gabe Norwood (Rain or Shine), Sonny Thoss (Alaska), Alex Cabagnot (Petron), LA Tenorio (Alaska), Taulava, and Mercado.
They will battle the RSJ squad composed of JVee Casio (Powerade), Paul Lee (Rain or Shine), Al-Hussaini (Powerade), Marcio Lassiter (Petron), Dylan Ababou (Ginebra), Josh Urbiztondo (B-MEG), Rico Maierhofer (Ginebra), Mac Baracael (Alaska), Mark Barroca (B-MEG), and Chris Ross (Meralco).
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