IN the eyes of GlobalPort coach Eric Gonzales, the best is yet to come for top rookie Stanley Pringle.
Pringle has been averaging 14.47 points, 6.60 rebounds, 4.73 assists and 1.80 steals per game in his rookie season, yet Gonzales said he believes the former Penn State guard is playing just around '60 percent' of his full potential.
“Kinakausap nga namin siya na he has to assert himself, baka minsan kailangan lang niyang idiin pa,” said Gonzales, insisting he wants his rookie to take charge and take more shots.
“Minsan baka nape-pressure lang siya. Kita mo nung last game namin, lumalabas na siya.”
To emphasize his point, Gonzales recalled the performance of Pringle in the game against Rain or Shine last Friday where the Fil-Am guard scored 16 points and combined with Terrence Romeo in a late run that almost turned the match around.
“Gusto talaga namin na magkaroon si Stanley ng more active role sa offense. Malaking bagay 'yung tinakbo niya nung fourth quarter (versus) Rain or Shine,” Gonzales said.
“Sinabi ko nga sa kanya na 'yun ang hinahanap ko na Stanley Pringle,” he added. “Sabi ko sa kanya, pag libre tira, pag nag-commit (ang defense), create. Ganun lang ang basketball,” he said.
The bible-preaching Gonzales also believes Pringle is struggling to find his groove because the defense is always focused on him and Romeo owing to the lack of scoring threats in the team's injury-hit frontline.
The soft-spoken mentor pointed out that Pringle was more dominant during his stint with the Indonesia Warriors in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) because the prolific guard had some dominant big men to set up inside.
“Try to remember that Stanley has a very high IQ. Pag may malaki kasi sa ilalim, Stanley can just pass the ball. If not, he can shoot outside. He really needs a big man inside para marami siyang options with the ball,” said Gonzales.
“Sa case namin, injured mga big men namin like sila Yancy (De Ocampo). It’s one of the reasons why we decided to change import,” he said.
There's also no doubt in Gonzales' mind that Pringle and volume-shooter Romeo can coexist.
“Walang problema sa dalawa na 'yun. Alam nila ang roles nila sa team, kasi point guard (Pringle) at shooting guard (Romeo) naman sila eh,” he said.
“Atsaka magkaibigan na matalik yung dalawa na 'yun. Sila nga ang pinaka close sa team eh,” bared Gonzales.
“I just wish Stanley will bring out his game soon. I told him not to hesitate,” he said.