Ever since he arrived in the Philippines back in 2013, former Gilas Pilipinas head coach Tab Baldwin has been very particular with the players that he thinks perfectly fits the international style of play.
In his appearance on retired PBA legend Eric Menk’s podcast Staying Major, the renowned tactician has made it known that he is a fan of one particular player.
“Not to put any additional pressure on Stanley [Pringle], but he’s the best guard in Asia.
“And, I’m telling you, it isn’t even close. In my opinion, he’s also the best choice as a naturalized player for the Philippines,” disclosed the current Ateneo Blue Eagles mentor.
Over his four-year stay in the Philippines, the 6-foot-1 Filipino-American floor general has turned heads in the big league. He has always been a candidate in the Most Valuable Player race in every conference. And just two months ago, the San Diego, California-born cager dropped 50 points for the then-Globalport Batang Pier.
Though Pringle is eligible to play in the FIBA 3X3 circuit and the Asian Games, the 31-year-old is not eligible to play for a five-on-five FIBA-sanctioned tournament. Still, if Baldwin had his way, he would pick Pringle over naturalized Filipino Andray Blatche.
“He’s a game-changer and he’s the only one who’s a game-changer because the ball is in his hands a lot and it belongs in his hands a lot.
“See, Andre dominates the ball a lot and he shouldn’t. That’s a mistake – Andre’s very difficult to manage. I can say that from experience and Chot [Reyes] won’t say that because he’s such a good guy, but I can say it from experience. He’s almost impossible to manage,” disclosed Baldwin, who coached Blatche back in 2016.
Having talked to Pringle, the American-Kiwi strategist believes that Pringle will find his next gear when he puts on the Pilipinas jersey.
“What a lot of people don’t know about Stanley – because he’s a very quiet, humble guy – is he’s got tremendous pride in his performance. Now, you put a Philippine uniform on top of that pride, you’ve got something special, in my opinion. We’ll see. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so,” opined Baldwin.
“I think Stanley’s special.”
Baldwin also gives a candid take on how he had to change his coaching philosophies when he took over for Ateneo, and what Kai Sotto should do to continue improving on the 60-minute podcast, which you can listen to here: