IT’S top rookie pick Stanley Pringle’s turn to be under the microscope as he makes his much-awaited PBA debut on Tuesday when GlobalPort collides with new team NLEX in the Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Game time is 4:15 p.m.
The entry of the six-foot Pringle, a European league veteran and former star of the Indonesia Warriors in the Asean Basketball League (ABL), has raised hopes ahead of the Batang Pier’s third season in the league owing to his multiple skills and winning attitude.
Pringle actually forms one-third of the backcourt which team owner Mikee Romero refers to as Globalport’s ‘three headed-monster’ in sophomore Terrence Romeo and veteran Alex Cabagnot.
“I think with Stanley joining Alex and Terrence, we have one of the best backcourt trios this conference,” admitted coach Pido Jarencio, who is out to harness the team’s much-improved roster after compiling a woeful 2-16 (win-loss) record in his first two conferences with the franchise.
The Batang Pier had an impressive preseason that saw them win seven of their 10 games, including a 4-1 slate against top collegiate and professional squads from Korea.
Outside of Pringle, Globalport also boosted its stock by acquiring veterans Mark Isip, Jojo Duncil, and Noy Baclao through trades, while injecting youth to the team by signing rookies Roider Cabrera, Anthony Semerad, John Pinto, and Prince Caperal.
But Globalport is expected to get a good fight from NLEX, whose veteran lineup made up of Asi Taulava, Enrico Villanueva, KG Canaleta, and MacMac Cardona, makes the new franchise competitive right in its first season.
“We’re gonna play no mercy basketball because we have the size, especially with KG (Canaleta) coming in,” noted Taulava, who is coming off an impressive performance from last season with Air21, the franchise brought by NLEX.
Coach Boyet Fernandez though will not be able to call the shots for the Road Warriors in his return to the pro league as he is still calling the shots for San Beda in the ongoing NCAA Finals against Arellano.