JAKARTA -- Stanley Pringle's Asian Games debut proved to be a memorable one as speedy the six-foot-one guard led all players in scoring in the Philippines' dominating 96-59 win over Kazakhstan in their opening game of the 18th Asian Games here on Thursday.
Pringle took just nine shots in 22 minutes of action, but made six of them, including two triples, to go along with four free throws. He also added two assists, four rebounds and a steal in a good all-around game. But for the NorthPort guard, the key to their big win was their team effort, particularly on the defensive end.
"It was great," he said after the game. "We all played a team game. We all played together. That's what Coach Yeng (Guiao) wants, he wants us to play together. On and off the court, to jell. We've been doing that. Just put it all together right there on the floor.
Pringle also praised the coaching staff for coming up with a good game plan.
"It's a great team performance. Everybody played, everybody contributed. I think the best thing today was our defense. The whole coaching staff did a great job of scouting. Everybody was prepared for their plays. We thought they might have had different plays but they had similar plays. Shoutout to the coaching staff. They prepared well for the plays. Our defense won the game."
The guards of Kazakhstan had trouble staying in front of the cat-quick Pringle all game long, and he drew five fouls from his defenders who were oftentimes left playing catch-up. Overall the former PBA Rookie of the Year was pleased with his performance, except for his ball-handling as he admitted he needed to adjust to the balls being used in the tournament.
"I gotta get used to the ball," he said. "It slipped out of my hands three times. Other than that, just tweak the offense a little bit. Know when to attack and when to pull it out."
With their first win in the bag, focus now shifts to Gilas' next opponent on August 21.
"We've got to definitely start focusing on scouting right now," he said of China. "Put our mindset to it, their plays and their tendencies."
The team will have four days to prepare, and will now have Jordan Clarkson with them as they attempt to sweep their group. Clarkson arrived in this bustling Indonesian capital mid-morning and went straight to the venue, where he caught the last 15 minutes of the game.
"He's here now," Pringle said of their celebrated teammate. "It's the Jordan show. I'm pretty sure Yeng is going to put him in the open floor, keep it simple for him to run, let us all space out. He's a natural killer. He's going to attack the basket."