Gilas Pilipinas head coach Yeng Guiao confessed that having to choose between Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger as the team’s naturalized player versus Qatar in their FIBA World Cup Qualifiers match has been agonizing.
Prior to the Qualifiers’ fourth window, Guiao said that the two will take turns being the team’s naturalized player, as the international basketball federation only permits one naturalized player per team during games.
Standhardinger was picked versus Iran, so that automatically made Pringle the team’s naturalized player versus the Qataris. However, the Filipino-German forward made a very strong case that he should be retained.
Though Gilas lost, 73-81, the 6-foot-8 Standhardinger was tough to overlook, as he dropped 30 points on 10-of-14 shooting along with 12 rebounds, two assists, and two steals in over 32 minutes of action.
But Guiao kept true to his word, as he has chosen Pringle for their game versus Qatar on Monday.
“Stanley Pringle is taking over the naturalized position over Christian Standhardinger, and that was really a very difficult decision – it was an agonizing decision with the way that Christian was playing,” said Guiao.
“Not only against Iran, but consistently playing for the national team, even from the Asian Games,” he added. “But Stanley also brings a lot to the game. He creates a lot of situations for his teammates. He can score, he can defend, he can pass.
“So we’ll miss Christian, but Stanley just gives us another dimension. So I think, whatever we lose with Christian not playing, we’ll be able to get some other way with Stanley playing.”
Pringle knows that he is about to fill in some big shoes as Gilas’ naturalized flag-bearer. But just like his mentality with PBA mother team NorthPort Batang Pier, the 6-foot-1 guard from Penn State is not backing down from the challenge.
“They have a lot of assets in the Philippines for basketball, to represent the country with coach Yeng as the coach, he has his selection of talents and things that he needs for the team,” said the 31-year-old.
“So whoever he selects for the team, everybody should be in full support of. As far as coach Yeng, he wants me to attack, turn to the corner, he wants me to pick up the defensive pace and change the tempo. That’s what I’m going to do.”
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