Saturday, February 1, 2014

Marc Pingris, LA Tenorio welcome possible of McGee, Blacthe into Gilas

Philippine national men’s basketball stalwarts Marc Pingris of San Mig Coffee and LA Tenorio of Barangay Ginebra San Miguel welcomed the news of the possible entry of NBA players into the Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

“Sa totoo, kailangan natin kasi maliit tayo. Alam mo naman ang Pilipino pag naglaro puso lang naman,” said Pingris, who was instrumental in Gilas’ silver medal run in the FIBA Asia Championship last year while battling bigger players down low.

“Malaking tulong, of course, with their experience, NBA experience,” added Tenorio. “Malalaki rin sila, so malaking bagay yun.”

Measure have been filed in Congress to confer Filipino citizenship on McGee, a Denver Nuggets center, and Blatche, a Brooklyn Nets big men, in time to include them for the 24-man lineup for the World Cup. A team is only allowed to suit up one naturalized player for the tournament.

“Di pa naman natin hawak yan so until ma-finalize let’s see, kung ano yung mabibigay nila sa team,” said Tenorio.

Another Gilas member, Japeth Aguilar of Ginebra, said the presence of NBA players in the lineup would allow the team to go head-to-head with bigger teams down low.

“They can match up with anybody,” said Aguilar.

His twin towers buddy Greg Slaughter, who is also a member of the Gilas training pool, said the mere presence of NBA players during practice can already boost the team.

“That’d be crazy, because I saw JaVale McGee when he was in the NBA All-Star thing, and they’re just another level,” said Slaughter, who played against McGee in the SMART Ultimate All-Star Weekend exhibition game in 2011.

“You train with the best you get better.”


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