Fil-Am ace hopes FIBA changes rule
Stanley Pringle
PBA Images

Fil-Am ace hopes FIBA changes rule

Joaquin Henson (The Philippine Star) - April 19, 2021 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Barangay Ginebra star Stanley Pringle said the other day he’s aware that under FIBA 5x5 eligibility rules, he can play for Gilas only as a “naturalized” import in games related to the World Cup and Olympics but he’s hoping to someday be reclassified as a “local” like in the 2018 Asian Games, 2019 Southeast Asian Games and 2018 FIBA 3x3 World Cup.

Pringle, 34, is a Fil-Am dual citizen born in San Diego to an American Navyman Stanley, Sr. and a Filipina Elvira Andres. Under Philippine law, he’s entitled to the privileges and rights of a Filipino citizen because of his mother who was born in Cagayan. In the Asian and SEA Games and FIBA 3x3, an athlete may represent a country if he or she is a passport holder. But in FIBA 5x5, a player may represent a country not of his birth if he or she was issued a passport of that country before turning 16 regardless of ethnicity.

“I know FIBA researches basketball backgrounds,” said Pringle, the middle child of five. “The only way I got to play for Gilas in the World Cup qualifiers (in 2018) was when the slot for an import opened up because of the suspensions from the Australia game. I also know we need size and that’s what a naturalized player should give. It was different in the Asian and SEA Games and FIBA 3x3. Playing for the Philippines is something I’ll never forget. I’ve framed my jerseys. It was an honor and whenever I’m called, I’ll be ready to play. I just hope FIBA changes its rule. I was raised by my Filipina mother as my father was in the military and often away. I ate Filipino food before I ate American food. When I went to Manila to play in the 2012-13 ABL season, my (Filipina) grandmother picked me up from the airport. My relatives come to watch me play in the PBA. I wasn’t naturalized, I’m a Filipino by right.”

Pringle said in the 2018 Asian Games, playing with NBA guard Jordan Clarkson was a treat. “He’s a good guy, humble, he and his father are good people,” he said. “He’s all about the team, he hung out with us. They don’t do that in the NBA, they don’t do team dinners and off-court events. Dressing up for the parade was incredible. Jordan is killing it in the NBA right now and it would be awesome if he plays for us in the 2023 World Cup.”

Before he was picked first overall in the 2014 PBA draft, Pringle saw action as an import in Belgium, Poland, Ukraine and Indonesia. “When I was a senior at Penn State, a close friend Jody Williams who runs a Fil-Am league in the US told me about the PBA,” said Pringle. “I had no clue, no idea about a pro career at the time. My only goal was to get a degree, to finish my education. Then, Ben Pensack came over from San Francisco to talk to me and he became my agent. It was a great experience playing in different countries. Ukraine was freezing and we had to do three-hour bus rides to play. We played the best teams in the Euro Cup. They had three or four imports a team and playing against them was no joke. It’s like playing in the PBA against a team with three or four imports.  Then I got to the PBA and found a home.”

Moving from NorthPort to Ginebra was a smooth transition, he said. “We play every team three conferences a season so you know every team’s style, every player’s style, every coach’s style,” he said. “I’m learning a lot from coach Tim (Cone) who’s our mastermind. His preparation is amazing. The entire coaching staff is incredible. I thought I’d end my PBA career without a championship like (Allen) Iverson in the NBA and now, I’ve played on two championship teams. It’s been tough during this pandemic. I wouldn’t mind playing in another bubble but that’s because I’m not married, I don’t have a girlfriend but I know how difficult it is for guys with families.  I’m 34 now and I know as I get older, I won’t be able to play like I used to.  To sustain myself, I take care of myself physically, eat healthy, work out regularly.  I always think what I can do to help my team win.  If not points, defense or talking more on the court to set up guys.”

Getting ready for the next season has been a challenge. “We’ve gotten together only for limited workouts in batches of four for two weeks before we broke up because of ECQ,” said the bubble conference’s Best Player awardee. “We do zoom workouts. I watch a lot of videos of games to study our opponents and watch myself so I know what to improve. I’m excited about this coming season. We could be the oldest team in the league but we’ve got a lot of young guys coming up. I’ve played with Christian (Standhardinger) before so I know what he’s capable of doing.”

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