JAKARTA—In just the first game of the 2018 Asian Games, Stanley Pringle showed why some of the Philippines’ top coaches set such high expectations for him in the competition.
Former national team head coach Tab Baldwin called Pringle “the best guard in Asia,” and Ginebra coach Tim Cone predicted that no defender would be able to hang with the NorthPort (formerly GlobalPort) guard.
Against Kazakhstan on Thursday morning at Basket Hall in the Gelora Bung Karno sports complex, Pringle displayed the skills that gave those coaches reason to speak so glowingly of him.
Playing just 22 minutes, Pringle scored a team-high 18 points, making six of his nine attempts from the field, while adding four rebounds, two assists, and a steal to his stat-line.
He also drew five fouls and made all four of his charities in the Philippines’ 96-59 triumph against Kazakhstan.
“We all played hard,” Pringle said afterward. “We all played together.”
“You know that's what coach Yeng wants, he wants us to play together, he wants us on and off the court to jell, so we've been doing that the whole time. Now it's just putting it all together, come out there on the floor and execute,” he added.
When asked about his personal performance, Pringle first pointed out that adjustments that he needed to make.
“I gotta get used to the ball. The ball slipped out of my hands about three times,” he said, and indeed the guard committed two turnovers in the game while also losing control of his dribble in a handful of possessions.
“But other than that, just tweak the offense a little bit. Know when to attack and when to pull it out, and run different sets on the ball screens,” he added.
The NorthPort guard also stressed that, despite the explosiveness that they showed on offense, it was their defense that won the game for them.
The Philippines limited Kazakhstan to just one field goal in the entire first quarter, and held them to only 20 points in the first half. The Kazakhs shot just 30% for the entire game, including only 5-of-28 from behind the arc.
“I think today the biggest thing was our defense. Shoutout to the scouting, the whole coaching staff. They did a great job scouting. Everybody was prepared for their plays,” said Pringle.
“We thought they might have different plays but they had the same plays that we we're practicing on, so big shout-out to the coaching staff, they prepared us well for the plays,” he added.
Pringle and the rest of Team Philippines will now shift their focus to China, which they will play on August 21.
“We'll definitely start focusing on scouting right now, put our mindset towards their plays and their tendencies and we're gonna start from there tonight,” said Pringle.
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