Pingris wishes Gilas Pilipinas best of luck in FIBA World Cup

By Kevin Estrada

For Marc Pingris, Gilas Pilipinas’ has its hands on the deck in defending the home court with the FIBA Basketball World Cup tips off on August 25.

Together with Jollo Go and Gab Banal, all three were part on the launch of the Sun Life 3×3 Charity Challenge last Friday, August 18 at SM Megamall, where they recalled their experiences and shared their thoughts on what the host nation will do as they gear up for their opening game against the Dominican Republic in Bocaue, Bulacan 

For the lefty guard from La Salle, playing for the country is a badge of honor, in which they made it a point to play with hearts out despite the obvious height disadvantage.

“Siguro yung sinasabi ni Kuya Ping, yung puso,” said Go, who had stints with Batang Gilas under Jamike Jarin in the U17 World Championships and the U18 Asian tilt in 2014. “Yung heart over height, talaga.”

“Hindi naman lahat, nadadala sa galing. Kung wala kang puso, mahirap yun ipanalo.”

Having seen it all as part of the Gilas team that went to Spain, Pingris has advice to fellow big men Kai Sotto and AJ Edu who were part of the pool during the press conference.

“Gawin na nila yung trabaho nila. Kailangan nilang maglaro as a team,” said the Pinoy Sakuragi. “Wag tayo mahiya kung matatalo tayo, basta ibibigay mo yung 100% mo.”

During the games itself, Banal was also optimistic on the chances of their 5-on-5 counterparts to come out of Group A, which included the likes of two-time European champions Italy and African powerhouses Angola.

“I think we have the tools, we have the chemistry, and we have enough preparation,” said the former MPBL MVP, who took part in the celebrity exhibition game which his White Team won over Andrei Felix’s Blue 21-20. “So I really hope that we do well.”

In addition, Banal felt at ease on the 3×3 vibes as he enjoys the offseason, as it remembered his time as one of the nation’s best players where he made his mark in his pro career. More importantly, it is for a good cause.

“We get to play, we get to exercise. At the same time, nakakatulong tayo. It’s fun.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @kevinlestrada

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