Purefoods defensive ace Marc Pingris is still working himself back into playing shape and while he wasn’t showing any effects of fatigue, he admitted that his timing isn’t where it used to be.
The hard-working forward is hoping that changes in time for his team’s next game, a much-anticipated Manila Clasico duel with rival Barangay Ginebra in nine days.
“Wala pa sa dating porma, nanggigigil pa rin,” Pingris told a small group of sportswriters after the game while clad in a Shohoku jersey with a drawn image of the Sakuragi character that he’s nicknamed after.
Purefoods superstar James Yap came to the SMART-Araneta Coliseum on Friday wearing not his usual jersey but a dark blue suit and jeans. Though he was only able to give support to his teammates against GlobalPort, he vowed he would be back in action to help the Hotshots in the next game.
“Next game balik na ako niyan,” Yap told InterAksyon.com in an excusive interview.
Despite missing a second straight game due to a right calf injury, Yap was a picture of positivity on Friday.
Purefoods coach Tim Cone was not happy with his team's performance despite shaking off a Halloween scare from Globalport, 81-75, berating the Hotshots for living too much in past glories and playing complacent basketball.
"It didn't seem like a win today," the coach greeted reporters waiting for him for the post-game press conference. Cone arrived a little later than usual, explaining that he had forgotten his team actually won.
Purefoods started slow and found themselves down 40-24 at halftime, before slowly coming back to overtake Globalport well into the fourth quarter. It was the first win of the conference for the Hotshots, who were stunned by Alaska and San Miguel in the previous games.
It took some cracking of the whip on the part of Purefoods Star coach Tim Cone at halftime, but the Grand Slam champion Hotshots finally found their old form to pick up their first victory of the PBA’s 40th season.
“At halftime, I was screaming, ‘When is last year going to end?’ We’ve got to go beyond last season. We had a real difficulty doing this,” the coach told sportswriters during the postgame interview.
Cone rued the recent trend of the team needing some extra motivation in the form of an early deficit before coming to play.
The Purefoods Star Hotshots erased an 18-point deficit in the second half to come out with an 81-75 win over the GlobalPort Batang Pier on Friday at the SMART- Araneta Coliseum.
Mark Barroca led Purefoods with 25 points, while Alein Maliksi chipped in 20 for the Hotshots, who won for the first time in the tournament. Last season's Grand Slam champions had lost their first two games of the new season.
Marc Pingris, in his first game back for Purefoods since his Gilas Pilipinas stint, added nine points and 17 rebounds.
Meralco was just handed its second worst loss in the franchise’s history and Bolts head coach Norman Black said that the team was not happy about it.
“It was a pretty bad loss today. Nobody’s happy when you lose by 40 points. Management is not happy, I’m not happy, players are not happy,” Black told a small group of sportswriters following Meralco’s 105-64 loss to Alaska on Friday.
The Bolts, though, gave praise to their opponents’ defensive game plan. The Aces’ pressing defense forced Meralco to turn the ball over 18 times and turned into 23 points for the other side.
After parting ways with Alaska last season, Luigi Trillo now serves as an assistant coach with the Meralco Bolts.
On Friday, he was on the wrong end of a huge beatdown, as his old team laid a 41-points beatdown on his new squad.
"They're playing really championship basketball, high level basketball," said Trillo after Alaska's 105-64 victory. "I think they're one of the favorites."