The Philippines is a basketball-crazy country, and its national basketball team, Gilas Pilipinas, is considered one of the strongest teams in Asia, having won 2nd place twice in a row for the FIBA Asia Championships, competed in the Basketball World Cup, and is hosting the Olympic Qualifiers for the sport. One of the basketball players who is responsible for the Philippines’ success in the international stage is Marc Pingris, who is also an avid fan of the basketball anime and manga, Slam Dunk.
An all-star in the local Philippine basketball league, the PBA (Philippine Basketball Association), Pingris has been dubbed as the “Pinoy Sakuragi,” as he is not shy about the fact that he just loves the anime, Slam Dunk, and idolizes its main character, Hanamichi Sakuragi. Pingris is a Power Forward, much like Sakuragi himself, and is known for grabbing rebounds… just like Sakuragi. The Filipino basketball superstar recently took his fandom even further by really dying his hair red, and sported a Shohoku tribute jersey.
The Philippines Power Forward was shown sporting his new red hair during a Gilas practice for the Olympic qualifiers, which will be held in the country this July 2016. According to Philippine news site, Rappler, Pingris is on a mission to really look like Hanamichi Sakuragi. He even joked that he would dye his eyebrows (and even armpit hair) red, just to complete the look.
Filipino basketball fans have been urging Pingris to rock Sakuragi’s look, with many even urging him to cosplay the character. But one thing is certain, this Basketball star loves Slam Dunk, and is a force to be reckoned with.
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