Stanley Pringle provided the much-needed offense in the clutch for Gilas Pilipinas on Friday evening. However, the defense could not pin Kazakhstan down.
One of the best guards in Asia, Pringle scored at will in the final frame. And the 6-foot-1 player was the one who kept Gilas alive.
It all started with a huge shot that gave Gilas a 79-75 lead with 4:06 left. Then there was another one with 1:55 left that handed the home side an 83-82 edge. He followed it up later on with another basket that chopped Kazakhstan’s lead to just one with 1:04 remaining.
But it all went for naught.
“I think the story of the night was our defense, we scored enough to win but we just couldn’t get enough stops,” rued Pringle, who scored a team-high 29 points.
In all of those instances, Kazakhstan were able to get Pringle’s buckets back.
Alexandr Zhigulin scored four quick points to knot things up at 79-all. Pringle was then forced to foul Nikolay Nazhin to give Kazakhstan the lead back with 1:40 left. Free throws from Anton Bykov and Rustam Yergali turned a one-point deficit to a five-point edge with 34.2 ticks left.
“They attacked our ball screen defense, I think that was our main weakness.
“A lot of times they slipped the screen too, and I think their bigs were a little quick, so they had the advantage on the ball screen,” added Pringle.
And with Christian Standhardinger as the designated naturalized player for Gilas come Monday, the team will surely miss the floor leadership of Pringle.
“We will lose Stan’s scoring, his aggressiveness and his leadership at the point guard position,” Guiao shared.