THE injury to Stanley Pringle could have been the determining factor in John Pinto’s decision to sign with Barangay Ginebra as an unrestricted free agent.
Top players’ agent Marvin Espiritu raised the point as the possible reason for Pinto's decision to exercise his right and take his act to the PBA’s most popular ballclub despite already having a stable career and a new two-year offer from mother team Meralco.
Pinto is not under the Espiritu Manotoc Basketball Management (EMBM), although he's being handled by Marvin’s father Danny, the longtime players’ representative of several of the country’s superstars.
“Factor `yung wala si Pringle. Kung healthy si Pringle, I think Nards Pinto would reconsider,” Espiritu said in explaining the rationale behind Pinto’s surprising transfer during his guesting in the first session for 2022 of Bull By The Horn on Monday night.
“Ang basa ko sa Ginebra, ang move nila is to address the immediate needs dahil nawala si Pringle sa kanila.”
The 33-year-old Pringle is out of the Kings' lineup for the rest of the Governors’ Cup campaign after undergoing surgery before the New Year for a meniscus injury on his left knee.
The absence of the 2020 Philippine Cup Best Player of the Conference left a major void in Ginebra’s backcourt, with only veteran LA Tenorio tasked to handle the playmaking chores and sophomore Kent Salado his only remaining back-up.
“I think with Nards calculated move para sa kanya yan, kasi starting role na siya sa Meralco, e,” added Espiritu. “Makikita natin yan kapag tumatakbo na yung karera niya sa Ginebra.”
Pinto, 31, opted to sign a three-year deal with the Kings.
Espiritu said he was not privy to the offer Pinto got from Ginebra.
“Maybe you can put in also the financial offer, pero mabilis yung nangyari, e,” he told hosts Benny Benitez and coach Jong Uichico.
“Let’s face it, attractive yung Ginebra. May factor yung Ginebra brand sa mga players. Doon kasi pumapasok yung mga childhood dreams nila,” added Espiritu. “At the same time, yung opportunity. Siguro pakiramdam ni Nards he will flourish too, under coach Tim Cone.”
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