by Jonas Terrado
Magnolia veteran Marc Pingris admitted that getting his old form back remains a difficult process five games after returning from a left ACL tear that sidelined him for 16 months.
Pingris has averaged 2.6 points and 3.8 rebounds in 12.9 minutes, gradually trying to make him play like he was before sustaining the injury during the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup semifinals against NLEX.
“Kitang-kita na kailangan ko pa ng confidence sa sarili ko,” Pingris said. “Yung timing at saka rhythm ko kailangan ko din ibalik.”
There were times that Pingris is going back to the basics as evident with the play that seems far from the blue-collar style that endeared him to local fans.
He had a pair of scoreless games in the ongoing PBA Commissioner’s Cup, including Sunday’s 102-81 loss to Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, his first Manila Clasico in more than a year.
But Pingris has shown some signs of a progress when he had four points and eight rebounds in Magnolia’s win over Meralco in Zamboanga City almost two weeks ago.
“Yung conditioning ko ok naman e, yung timing lang talaga sa post at yung timing sa depensa ang mahirap na ibalik. Everyday kailangan i-practice ulit,” Pingris said.
As frustrating as it is for him to see himself endure his struggles, Pingris is also hoping that his game comes back naturally in order for him to help Magnolia launch another deep run if they’re able to cement their place in the playoffs.
Magnolia entered last night’s match against Rain or Shine toting a 5-4 record, needing just one win in its final two assignments to book a place in the quarters.
“Siguro darating na lang yun basta makuha ko kumpiyansa ng laro ko,” he said. “Minsan nafufrustrate ako na gustong-gusto kong ibalik laro ko pero sabi ng team sa akin na di ganun basta-basta, di ganun kabilis.”