MANILA, Philippines – Marc Pingris will miss the rest of Magnolia Hotshots’ best-of-7 semifinals series against the NLEX Road Warriors after being diagnosed with an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury on his left knee, head coach Chito Victolero confirmed Monday, March 12.
Pingris, who will stay home instead of watching Game 2 from courtside, will be sidelined for 6 to 8 months and will undergo surgery soon.
It was all and well late in the 4th quarter of Game 1 until Pingris went down the floor and grimaced in pain while clutching his knee. He had to be stretchered from the Araneta Coliseum to the hospital.
While the rest of Hotshots are expected to fill in the void left by Pingris, it is the veteran’s proven leadership that will be missed, Victolero said.
“‘Yung leadership ni Ping ‘yung medyo mamimiss namin but in terms of sa step up sa game, tingin ko ‘yung ibang players naman makocover nila ‘yun.”
(Ping’s leadership is something we will miss but in terms of stepping up in the game, I think our other players can cover his absence.)
Adding to Magnolia’s woes is Justin Melton, who will miss Game 2 due to a strained hamstring. The Filipino-American is being monitored on a day-to-day basis and can return for Game 3.
With the Hotshots down 0-1 in the series, Victolero said they are using Pingris’ absence as inspiration.
“That’s our goal: to win this game para at least, makatie naman kami sa series.”
(That’s our goal: to win this game so we can tie the series.) – Rappler.com