FOR Tim Cone, there’s no doubt ‘Stan is the Man’ for Globalport.
Coming off a career-record in the Batang Pier’s last outing, Stanley Pringle serves as the biggest puzzle Barangay Ginebra needs to solve if it is to make the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals worry-free.
Cone admitted being wary and at the same time awed by the way Pringle has been playing of late, none more impressive than the 50-point output he produced in Globalport’s 133-115 win over Columbian Dyip just before the mid-season tournament took a break to give way to the FIBA World Cup qualifiers.
Pringle’s offensive explosion guided the Batang Pier to an even 5-5 card in a three-way tie with the Kings and idle Magnolia for sixth to eight places going to their crucial 7 p.m. encounter Friday at the Astrodome.
The prolific scoring machine he is, Pringle couldn’t be stopped, according to Cone, but could be limited, which is what the Kings will try to do.
“We can come out and scheme Stanley a little bit, make sure that we keep him under control,” said the 60-year-old mentor.
“Nobody’s ever going to stop him, but if we kind of keep him under control, then maybe we have a shot.”
Problem is, the Batang Pier are not all about Pringle.
There’s do-it-all forward Sean Anthony, the athletic Mo Tautuaa, and tough-playing import Malcolm White.
“I think man-for-man, Globalport is one of the most talented teams in the league. They got a lot of weapons on that team,” Cone noted. “Stanley is the one who leads them.”
But one thing going great for the Kings is that the team has been playing good basketball the past few weeks that saw them put together four straight victories that more than revived their playoffs chances.
“We’re confident, going in with confidence,” said Cone.
“As a team, we have worked really hard to get back in the race after a 1-5 start,” added the Ginebra mentor. “We’ve been in playoff mode for weeks, yet our recovery is not complete. We still have the talented Globalport squad as a last hurdle before the playoffs begin.”