Stanley Pringle debuts for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday as the Gin Kings battle NLEX in the second game of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Commissioner’s Cup at the Batangas City Coliseum in Batangas.
The high-scoring guard was acquired by Ginebra from NorthPort in exchange for Sol Mercado, Jervy Cruz and Kevin Ferrer and he will be a marked man in their 6:45 p.m. encounter with the Road Warriors.
In the opener, Columbian Dyip (1-5) collide with Rain or Shine (2-3) at 4:30 p.m. as both teams try to bounce back from a loss.
The arrival of 32-year old Pringle makes the Gin Kings backcourt as the deadliest in the league as he’ll join forces with LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson. But his minutes will be limited according to head coach Tim Cone.
“We’ve only had a few days of practice to get Stanley integrated. So for our NLEX game, we are still a team in flux and need to temper our expectations,” said Cone, whose team is coming off a 110-107 overtime win over San Miguel Beer to improve its record to 3-3.
“However, we know over time Stanely will be an impact player for us and we’re willing to stay patient. We think our future looks bright,” the two-time grandslam mentor added.
They will be facing dangerous NLEX five, which snapped its six-game winning streak after toppling sister team Meralco, 100-91, for its first victory in the tournament.
Tony Mitchell dished out his best game yet with 32 points and 20 rebounds while new recruit Jericho Cruz chipped in 16 markers.
“It’s something positive to pin our hopes on. It could be an encouragement for us to keep on playing hard as we can,” Road Warriors head coach Yeng Guiao said.
At 1-6, NLEX needs to sweep its last four games including this game to stay in the race for a spot in the next round.
Meanwhile, the Elasto Painters try to bury their heart-breaking 105-107 overtime loss to NorthPort in a game where they squandered a 25-point lead.
Rain or Shine mentor Caloy Garcia admitted they were embarrassed by their collapse to Batang Pier.
The loss negated the 41-point, 21-rebound performance of Elasto Painters import Denzel Bowles.
“Hopefully, we learned a lot after this game,” rued Garcia.
The Dyip are also coming off a 102-109 defeat at the hands of league-leader TNT KaTropa and they must start piling up wins to avoid another early elimination.