SAN MIGUEL braces for Stanley Pringle’s return as the Beermen stake their 12-game winning streak against defending champion Indonesia Warriors in the Asean Basketball League on Friday at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Beermen are on top of the team standings with a 15-3 win-loss record, two games ahead of Indonesia (13-5).
San Miguel has a 2-1 win-loss edge in its season series against Indonesia, but that lone loss was absorbed during a home game, 98-96, in overtime last February 8.
After missing 12 weeks including the three previous matchups against San Miguel due to a meniscus injury, the Filipino American guard returns at a crucial point for the Indonesian team.
Indonesia will be going all out for the win in the 5 p.m. match, needing to win over San Miguel by more than 15 points to claim the No. 1 spot in case both teams end the eliminations with the same win-loss records.
Pringle, who was instrumental in the Warriors’ title run last year against the Beermen, had a rousing debut, scoring 19 points but Indonesia lost to the Westports Malaysia Dragons, 85-86, last week in Palembang, Indonesia.
While Pringle boosts the Warriors’ backcourt, the Beermen will be missing top point guard Chris Banchero for the third straight game with a tendon tear in his left quadriceps.
“Indonesia is a dangerous team with Pringle around so we have to be disciplined in executing our game plan both on offense and defense,” said San Miguel coach Leo Austria. “The first thing in our list is to stop Pringle.”
The Beermen’s winning streak nearly came to an end last week but they managed to eke out a 71-69 home victory over the cellar dwelling Saigon Heat.
“We have learned our lessons from the Saigon game. We let our guard down. We almost paid for it,” Austria said.