New Ginebra guard Stanley Pringle was attentive in his first practice with the team on Wednesday. The 32-year-old Pringle, who was acquired Tuesday from the NorthPort Batang Pier in a blockbuster trade for Kevin Ferrer, Jervy Cruz, and Sol Mercado, was quickly integrated to the squad, hoisting up shots, running the court and practicing plays for coach Tim Cone.
Traded to the defending Commissioner's Cup champions, Pringle knows he can bring a lot to the table, alongside backcourt buddies LA Tenorio and Scottie Thompson. But the he believes it will take some time before he can master the triangle offense.
"When you're a new player in a new system, you should learn and soak it in first and figure out how to help the team," he said. "This is my first day, still got a lot to go. I still need to get my feet wet. I expect to pull out a notepad and write everything down and try to memorize everything."
With a 3-3 record, Ginebra is still very much in play for a deep playoff run. But it will all depend on how Pringle blends in with the team.
"That's everybody's main goal, to win a championship. Whatever situation you're in, that's pretty much the main goal, to win a championship. But right now, it's all about the steps you need to take, small steps first, learn the offense," mentioned Pringle, who is set to debut Sunday against NLEX in Batangas City.
Just before practice started, Pringle posted on Instagram and thanked the Batang Pier, which drafted him first overall in 2014.
Pringle has only played two games in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup following his ankle surgery, averaging 14.5 points, 2.5 assists, and 2.0 rebounds.
All part of the business
For Ginebra, which lost three key players in the exchange, it was a bitter pill to swallow but believes the trade was a win-win for the players.
Cruz, Ferrer, and Mercado can contribute big minutes for NorthPort which is riding high with a 5-1 record.
Mercado can play on both ends of the floor, Ferrer can play as a solid wing player, and Cruz can give quality minutes in the paint.
"Those three were really great players. Those three players didn't want to be traded. It wasn't that they did something wrong or weren't good enough or whatever, it's just that we had to make a move for what we hoped was an impact player in Stanley. We just gave up three really good players just to do that," Cone explained.
Last year's Commissioner's Cup Finals MVP Thompson said playing without Ferrer will be more tough because of the bond they share off the court as well. Thompson, tough, is relieved he won't be defending one of the best scorers in the league anymore.
Meanwhile, Tenorio believes Pido Jarencio, Ferrer's former collegiate coach with the UST Growling Tigers, can unleash the true play of the 6'3 forward.
"It's hard. But I told him, it's an opportunity to get back to his old self, the Kevin Ferrer we knew before he declared for the draft. Plus, one's confidence will surely skyrocket if he plays for someone he can consider as his father," Tenorio said in Filipino.