BARANGAY Ginebra stars and Stanley Pringle finally joined the Team Pilipinas practice for the FIBA World Cup 2019 Qualifiers fifth window build-up on Sunday at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City.
After a heartbreaking semifinals loss to Magnolia in the PBA Governors’ Cup, Ginebra stars Greg Slaughter, Scottie Thompson, Japeth Aguilar and LA Tenorio trained with the men’s national basketball pool just in time with the return of head coach Yeng Guiao, who came from a business trip in Hong Kong.
Pringle, who arrived from US last Friday night, also appeared in his first practice for the fifth window, where the Philippines will battle Kazakhstan on November 30 and Iran on December 3 at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Finals-bound Magnolia star Paul Lee showed his commitment but he was in street clothes.
“The loss of Ginebra is the gain of the national team, at least in terms of practice time,” Guiao told the reporters after Sunday’s training session. "But we will not utilize them in the game against Jordan yet. I don’t think one day of practice is going to be good enough for them to get into the system.”
“Stanley also is just trying to recover from the trip. So five guys will practice in the morning for the shootaround, but they will not be utilized in the scrimmage,” he added.
June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lassiter, Christian Standhardinger, Alex Cabagnot, Jayson Castro, Troy Rosario, Gabe Norwood, JP Erram, Matthew Wright, and Beau Belga were also present.
Magnolia’s big man Ian Sangalang and Cadets Kai Sotto and Ricci Rivero missed Sunday’s practice. Guiao said that the 7-foot-1 high school star asked permission to focus on his exams in school, while Rivero and Sangalang didn’t tell the reason of their absence.
“I think Kai is preparing for some exams in school. So that’s certainly a priority for Kai. So we don’t really want to put any pressure on him,” he said.
“Ricci I’m not sure what the situation is. So for tomorrow, against Jordan, we will utilize about 12 to 13 guys – the people who first practiced with us."
The 20-man pool will battle Jordan in a pair of tune-up matches on Monday and Wednesday.