Star might have already rediscovered its winning ways after registering back-to-back lopsided wins this week.
But veteran forward Marc Pingris knows too well that it’s too early to celebrate in the Philippine Cup.
“Sabi ni coach be humble lang, back to zero tayo. Kailangan pagbalik sa practice, kailangan mas intense pa, 100 percent ulit sa depensa, yun ang magpapanalo sa amin,” shared Pingris as Star improved to 2-2 following its merciless 123-79 demolition over hapless Phoenix on Saturday.
After its two-game slump to start the season, the Hotshots managed to turn things around, beginning with their impressive 99-75 victory over NLEX on Wednesday.
Star proved its big win was no fluke, making another giant leap by obliterating a listless Phoenix side at the Mall of Asia Arena.
“Ang sinabi kasi ni coach sa amin, win or lose, kailangan mag-enjoy kami sa game, win or lose, kailangan stay happy kami,” said Pingris. “Yung natalo kami ng dalawang beses, malungkot kami pero ganun rin yung mindset namin na wag magwatak-watak.”
The Hotshots sure enjoyed the game, firing from all angles and establishing their biggest lead at 53 points in the second half in a complete domination of the Fuel Masters.
“Siguro nandun na yung nag-improve yung team, I mean sa turnover, sa assist, umiikot na yung bola, dumedepensa na ng maayos yung team, maganda na yung nilalaro namin,” said “Pinoy Sakuragi”, who churned out eight markers and seven boards.
New boy Paul Lee echoed the strides the Hotshots are making in two months’ time as evidenced by their movement on both ends of the court and their 68 bench points.
“Feeling ko yung chemistry, maganda na takbo, alam na namin kung anong gagawin, yung open man nahahanap namin sa depensa nag tutulungan kami,” said Lee, who topscored for Star anew with 18 points.
Still, the work isn’t done yet for Pingris, Lee and the rest of the Hotshots as they are set to clash with four heavyweight squads in the next few weeks, starting with Rain or Shine on Dec. 18 where they will play the former long-time face of the Purefoods franchise James Yap.
“Yung top 4 sa PBA ngayon, doon talaga namin malalaman kung hanggang saan talaga kami,” he said. – Jason Mercene
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH