FORMER Gilas Pilipinas coach Tab Baldwin lauded Yeng Guiao for assembling “an extremely tough team” in so short a time ahead of the 2018 Asian Games.
“They’ve assembled a tough team. They’ve assembled an extremely tough team,” said Baldwin during an appearance in Eric Menk’s 'Staying Major' podcast.
Baldwin said he has high hopes for the backcourt tandem of Stanley Pringle and Paul Lee, added to the Rain or Shine core.
“That backcourt tandem will scare the hell out of the Asian teams. And I’m serious. That’s a great backcourt tandem,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin is so impressed with Pringle that he believes the GlobalPort star is currently the best guard in Asia, and a top choice for naturalization.
“Not putting any additional pressure on Stanley but he is the best guard in Asia. And I’m telling you, it’s not even close. In my opinion, he is also the best choice for naturalized player for the Philippines. He is a game-changer because he has the ball in his hands and it belongs,” said Baldwin.
Though a Fil-American, Pringle can’t play for the Philippines in Fiba-sanctioned tournaments as he was not able to obtain a Philippine passport before he turned 16 years old. Still, Pringle can be the ‘naturalized player’ in place of Andray Blatche in the future, Baldwin said.
“He has the ball in his hands and it belongs in his hands a lot. Andray, he dominates the ball a lot and he should. But Andray is very difficult to manage. I can say that from experience. Chot won’t say that because he is a good guy but I can say that from experience. He is impossible to manage. We talk about efficiencies. That’s an issue.
“Where you put the ball in Stanley’s hands, he is a great ball screen guard. Now you are going to play for the national team. Unfortunately, in the Asiad, you won’t be having June Mar and Greg. But hopefully, they will later on."
Baldwin said Pringle shares the same traits as Lee.
“Having a great ball screen guard is really critical. Paul Lee also happens to be a great ball screen guard,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin also said Pringle plays with a lot of pride that will only grow as he wears the Philippine uniform for the Asian Games.
“He has great experience in the game. He played in Russia - what a lot of people don’t know about because he is a quiet, humble guy. He has tremendous pride in his performance. And now, you put a Philippine uniform on top of that pride and you’ve got something special, in my opinion. I might be wrong, but I don’t think so. I think Stanley will step up and do special things,” said Baldwin.
Baldwin also said Christian Standhardinger will also make a big impact for the Asiad team while playing alongside Pringle.
“With Christian, he is such a hardworker. You can’t have Christian and Stanley in the Fiba team, but you got them together now, and Christian will do a great job with Stanley. But Stanley is a game-changer offensively and defensively,” said Baldwin.