Filipino basketball players

PBA great Marc Pingris retires after stellar 16-year career

Delfin Dioquino
PBA great Marc Pingris retires after stellar 16-year career

STEPPING AWAY. Marc Pingris retires from the PBA at age 39.

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Magnolia and Gilas Pilipinas icon Marc Pingris draws the curtains on a storied career embellished with multiple championships and personal accolades

One of the greatest players to ever grace the PBA hardcourt has officially hung up his spurs.

Magnolia forward Marc Pingris announced his retirement from the PBA on Tuesday, May 25, as he drew the curtains on a stellar 16-year career embellished with multiple championships and personal accolades.

“I’ve been in the PBA for 16 years but I know this is the right time to start a new chapter in my life,” the 39-year-old Pingris wrote in Filipino on his retirement post on Instagram.

Picked No. 3 overall in the 2004 PBA Draft by FedEx, Pingris got traded to Purefoods the following year and led the team to the 2006 Philippine Cup championship as the Finals MVP.

In 2008, Purefoods sent Pingris to San Miguel, where he won another PBA title in the 2009 Fiesta Cup.

The pride of Pozzorubio, Pangasinan found himself shipped back to Purefoods, where he won seven more championships and where he spent the rest of his PBA career.

Pingris teamed up with the likes of James Yap, Peter June Simon, Joe Devance, and Rafi Reavis as they steered San Mig Coffee to a rare Grand Slam in 2014 under head coach Tim Cone.

“Coach Tim, it is because of you that I grew to understand the sport as more than a game,” Pingris wrote. “Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become part of history with our 2014 Grand Slam.”

“I am proud to have played the game we both love with you.”

His personal achievements include another Finals MVP plum, a Most Improved Player award, 15 All-Star selections, three Defensive Player of the Year honors, and three Mythical Second Team nods.

Pingris also earned a spot in the 40 Greatest PBA Players list.

As a member of the national team, “Pinoy Sakuragi” endeared himself to Filipino fans by not backing down against towering opponents despite being an undersized big man in the international scene.

Pingris played a key role as Gilas Pilipinas clinched a silver medal in the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship – a finish that catapulted the country to the FIBA World Cup for the first time in 36 years.

He saw action in the 2014 FIBA World Cup and helped Gilas Pilipinas beat Senegal in its lone victory of the tournament.

Pingris ended his retirement post with the hashtag #pinoysakuragi15signingoff. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.