by Waylon Galvez
Magnolia’s title aspiration in the PBA Philippine Cup suffered a major blow when veteran forward Marc Pingris suffered a series-ending injury late in Game 1 of their semis duel with NLEX last Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Hotshot coach Chito Victolero said yesterday that Pingris already had an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) test at Medical City, although the severity of the injury would only be determined after review by well-known sports physician Dr. Raul Canlas.
“Nakapag-MRI na si Ping, pero titignan pa ni Dr. Canlas kung ano yung resulta,” Victolero said when contacted by Bulletin-Tempo. “Sa kanya manggagaling kung ano talaga ang injury.”
“Our hope is strained MCL… but even if it’s MCL, out na siya for the series kasi 3-4 weeks din recovery period, kagaya ng nangyari kay Paul (Lee) and Jio (Jalalon),” he added.
A strained MCL, or the Medial Collateral Ligament, would only require a player therapy and strengthening, but if it was a tear, a surgery will be needed to repair the injury.
Pingris, 35, injured his left knee while driving to the basket late in the fourth frame against NLEX center JR Quiñahan with Magnolia ahead, 76-73. NLEX eventually won, 88-87, for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven affair.
The 6-foot-6 forward crumbled to the floor in pain while holding his knee and was wheeled out to the dugout where Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes wished him well before he was brought to the hospital.