Pingris, French dad finally reunited ahead of game vs France
Alder Almo (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2014 - 8:14am

MANILA, Philippines – After two years, Gilas Pilipinas forward Marc Pingris is finally reunited with his French father once again.

Pingris met with his father Jean Marc, Sr. on the eve of their game against France national team in the opener of the 2014 Antibes International Basketball Tournament.

Jean Marc, Sr. drove all the way from Normandy to Antibes with his wife Francoise just to see his son.

Masaya ako bro kasi two years din na hindi kami nagkita at isa pa natuwa ako dahil sa France pa ginawa yung game,” Pingris told shortly after their meeting.

They were supposed to see each other last year but Pingris shelved their annual family vacation trip to Normandy because of his national duties with Gilas, which Jean Marc, Sr. happily approved.

Their sacrifice paid off as Gilas booked a ticket to this year’s FIBA World Cup in Spain.  And it couldn’t get any better as the national team was able to join the four-nation tournament in Antibes, which is normally a 10-and-a-half-hour drive from Normandy.

Twelve hours biyahe niya mula sa Normandy papunta dito. Nag-dinner kami tapos pasyal lang. Bukas manonood sila,” Pingris added.

The three of them accompanied by Sports5's Kuwentong Gilas crew spent their day at Cannes, France, just half hour away from Antibes, where Gilas is currently housed.

The 6-6 banger felt like a kid again around his father, who will be with him all the way to Seville, Spain for the FIBA World Cup.

Pingris bared to earlier that his father has already booked a house in Seville, Spain where their family will stay for the duration of the world championships. His wife Danica, their kids and his mother-in-law Dina Bonnevie will follow on Aug. 27, three days before the World Cup tips off.

Related story: Father-and-son reunion inspires Pingris ahead of World Cup

Pingris is slightly taller than his father, who is 6-5. His mother Erlinda, 5-7, met Jean Marc, Sr. through a common friend while she was working as a sales lady in SM Cubao back in the day. They fell inlove and eventually got married. Jean Marc, Sr. left the country when Marc was just three years old for work in Morocco. They eventually lost touch for some reason.

Pingris got reunited with his father again in 2007 through the efforts of his wife Danica. Since then, they get to spend time together annually except for last year as the FIBA Asia Men's Championship got in the way. 

With his father and his family around, Pingris is more inspired to play and help Gilas Pilipinas put up a good fight against the world’s best teams.

In Antibes, Pingris and the rest of Gilas will have a taste of the competition they are expecting in Seville, Spain. After their showdown against the 2013 Eurbasket champion France, they will go up against Australia on Saturday and Ukraine on Sunday.

All their games will be shown on TV5 in a slightly delayed basis as part of the network’s coverage of the national team’s series of tuneups dubbed as “Gilas vs the World.”

The game against France will be played around 2:30 am on Saturday Manila time and will be aired at 5pm on TV5 with a replay on Aksyon TV Ch 41 at 10:30pm the next day. 

Read also: Norwood excited to guard Batum, Fournier in France tourney

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