Saturday, August 15, 2015
Gilas Pilipinas ready to accept Pingris’ withdrawal; But still open for June Mar Fajardo
Marc Pingris’ agent, Ed Ponceja explained why Pingris decided to skip participating in the Gilas program, (READ: Marc Pingris unavailable for Gilas Pilipinas) which is gearing up for the FIBA Asia, an Olympic qualifying tournament, to be held in China from September 23 to October 3.
“Bago pa lang kasi yung coach ng Star medyo naghahabol pa sila sa gagawin. Baka nga mag twice-a-day practice pa sila so hindi na kakayanin ni Ping yung oras,” Ponceja said.
Ponceja added that having a possible twice-a-day training with Star under new coach Jason Webb and joining the Gilas training pool altogether might affect Pingris in the long run.
“Alam mo naman ang ensayo sa Gilas mahirap ang training,” Ponceja added. “Si Ping hindi na rin naman kasi siya bata so kung mag-do-doble ensayo siya sa Star tapos mag-e-ensayo pa siya sa Gilas, baka naman bumigay yung katawan niya.”
According to Ponceja, Pingris is currently on the final year of his contract with the Hotshots.
Baldwin said he didn’t want to disclose the conversation he had with any of the players that are not currently training in the pool.
But even as the pool of players has become depleted, Baldwin clarified that he won’t make any more additions to the pool.
“We’ve talked about this as a management and if we don’t get anybody in by the time we came back from Estonia, to me, it’s counterproductive to bring anybody in. That’s not a definitive decision, but I’m prepared to put out there now and probably defend that position later on,” Baldwin said.
He is still holding out hope, though, for back-to-back PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo, who Baldwin envisioned to be an important piece of the program.
Fajardo, unlike the other players who begged off the pool, did so because of injuries and Gilas will be willing to wait a little longer to see if he can get healthy.
“The exception I’ll probably make to that is June Mar. I’ve said from the very beginning he should be the centerpiece of this team. We need him. We understand his injury is one of those nagging things. It doesn’t have a timetable and because it doesn’t have a timetable, I’m not gonna put a timetable on him,” Baldwin said.
“Eventually, we have to say it’s too late, but right now, because it is an injury situation for him and nothing else, I’d say we’ll stay open for him longer than anybody else.”