Marc Pingris celebrates after San Mig Coffee's Philippine Cup title victory. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – San Mig Coffee enforcer Marc Pingris is in seventh heaven after seeing his team claim its first back-to-back championship victory through their PBA Philippine Cup title win over Rain or Shine.
The 6'6" power forward feels that he and his team deserve the crown after clawing back from the brink of being eliminated in the early round of the All-Filipino conference.
“Grabe 'yung pinagdaanan namin, galing kami sa 1-5 [win-loss record]. Nakita ko sa mga teammates ko kung paano sila nagtrabaho kaya siguro deserve din namin [ang championship] kasi pinaghirapan din talaga namin ito,” Pingris said in Mei-Lin Lozada’s Spin.ph report.
The Mixers weren't among the favored teams to win the title after starting with 5 defeats in 6 games during the elimination round.
They improved their record to 3 victories against 6 losses before making it into the quarterfinals against Talk ‘N Text.
After surviving the Texters in their best-of-three quarters, San Mig Coffee defeated No. 1 team Barangay Ginebra in 7 grueling semifinal games to advance to the championship and meet early finalist Rain or Shine.
Pingris' courage was tested against the Elasto Painters after he got accidentally poked in the eye while going after the ball during Game 4. The pain caused him to collapse to the floor and forced him to seek immediate treatment.
Despite the eye injury, the defensive ace fought on in Games 5 and 6 and helped San Mig Coffee close out the series against Rain or Shine.
Pingris said that what made their title win special is the fact that they started the conference at the near bottom of the standings.
“Kaya napakasarap ng panalong ito, galing kami sa ibaba tapos andito na kami, champion,” he said.