CONSENSUS top rookie pick Stanley Pringle decided to join this year’s PBA Annual Draft, party because of the influence of his Filipino relatives.
The shifty Fil-American guard out of US NCAA Division I school Penn State recalled how his maternal grandmother and some Filipino relatives would come all the way from Ballesteros, Cagayan just to watch him play in Manila with the Indonesia Warriors in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).
“My family, especially my grandmother, they usually come all the way from Ballesteros in Cagayan, and they would watch me play when we’re (Warriors) here (in Manila),” Pringle told Spin.ph on Sunday.
It was with the Warriors in the ABL where the 6-foot-1 Pringle made a name for himself as he led the Indonesia-based team to the ABL championship in 2012 and a runner-up finish the following season.
While Pringle could always explore other options such as playing in Europe where he’s expected to receive hefty contracts, he chose to join Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league instead.
“They’ve (Filipino family) always been a big factor why I decided to join the draft. They usually ask me when do I plan to join the PBA,” added Pringle, who is expected to be selected No. 1 overall by GlobalPort.
His father, Stanley Pringle Sr., is a retired US Navy veteran, while his mother is Elvira Andres Pringle, who was born and raised in Sta. Filomena, Abulug, Cagayan.
After he turned 27 years old last March, the high-scoring guard no longer needs to play two conferences in the PBA D-League as required of every Fil-foreign draft applicant.
Pringle will be part of the Gatorade Draft Combine on Monday and Tuesday where the record 95 rookie aspirants will undergo the traditional biometrics and rookie camp scrimmages to provide PBA coaches a glimpse of what this year’s batch of rookies can do at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
The Draft roster will be divided into two, with the first group (whose family names start from A-G) going through the tests, workout, and scrimmages from 7 a.m. to 12 noon on Monday, and the second group (whose surnames start with letters H-Z) undergoing the same procedure the following day.
Only one companion is allowed per participant.
Pringle said a year since Indonesia failed to defend its ABL crown against Asi Taulava, Chris Banchero, and the rest of the San Miguel Beermen, he has joined various Pro-Am leagues in the US and worked out with American trainers to keep himself in shape.
“There’s always somewhere I can play, be competitive and be able to stay in shape,” said the former ABL star, who also played overseas basketball in Belgium, Poland, and Ukraine prior to joining the Warriors in 2012.
The sweet-shooting guard averaged 18.6 points, 6.2 assists, and 4.8 rebounds during the Warriors’ title run two years ago under American coach Todd Purves.
Purves has since moved over to join San Miguel late last year in his capacity as active team consultant.