Two-time PBA Most Valuable Player James Yap said he will always remember Marc Pingris as one of the best teammates he had while he was still with Magnolia.
Yap, who now plays for Rain or Shine, said in a heartfelt tribute to Pingris that their bond goes beyond the court.
"Gusto ko na take tong opportunity na to na pasalamatan ka @jeanmarc15 sa lahat ng ginawa mo para sakin. You were one of the best teammates I’ve ever had," Yap said in his Instagram post a day after Pingris announced his retirement.
"Our brotherhood and friendship started with basketball pero alam ko that we go beyond that, na kahit di na tayo pareho naglalaro di magbabago ang samahan natin."
The two played together for Welcoat in the Philippine Basketball League, before going separate ways in the PBA. Yap went to Purefoods, while Pingris joined FedEx.
They later reunited when Pingris transferred to Purefoods and scored a number of PBA titles.
Later, it was Yap's turn to move to another team to join the Elasto Painters in 2016.
Yap said Pingris' retirement came as a surprise to him.
"Madami dami din tayong pinagdaanan na gyera sa loob ng court, magkasama tayo sa hirap at sa saya. Sabay tayo nagsimula in 2004 kaya nagulat ako na magretire ka na," he said.
"Congrats sa retirement tol. See you around!”