Stanley Pringle wins BPC, Prince Caperal named MIP in PBA Special Awards

Stanley Pringle led a bountiful haul for Barangay Ginebra in the 45th PBA season's virtual Special Awards Night held Sunday.

The 33-year-old Pringle clinched the 2020 Philippine Cup's Best Player of the Conference (BPC) award, becoming the first player since Jayson Castro in the 2012-13 Philippine Cup to win the trophy outside of San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo.

Pringle, who placed sixth in the statistical race, was able to amass 1,640 points after getting the majority vote from the players (67) and from the Commissioner's Office (300).

Phoenix's Matthew Wright came a close second with 1,578 votes, winning the media vote (868) and getting the second-most number of votes from all players.

TNT's Roger Pogoy (958) and Ray Parks (876), Phoenix's Calvin Abueva (779) and Terrafirma's CJ Perez (668) rounded out the top six.

"All the players were deserving. Just being nominated for me was a blessing," he said.

Throughout Ginebra's title run, Pringle was a picture of consistency for Ginebra and averaged 18.5 points, 5.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.0 steals in 22 games. He shot 44.3 percent from the field, 38.3 percent on threes and 89.1 percent on free throws in 36.1 minutes per game.

With top stars LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar groping for form early in the conference, Ginebra leaned on the heroics of Pringle, who pushed his team to the top seed with an 8-3 record in the elimination round.

"I wasn't looking at my stats. I was just helping my team win. As far as awards go, your teammates are going to put you in a position to win, so it's their award as much as it's yours. Shout out to all my teammates," Pringle said.

Even when the team returned to full strength, Pringle stayed steady in the playoffs, where the Gin Kings beat Rain or Shine and Meralco in the semifinals and quarterfinals before trouncing TNT in five games to win the franchise's first All-Filipino title in 13 years.

"I put a lot of work into this season after we got the chance to come back and play basketball again during the pandemic," said Pringle. "Coach Tim (Cone) really motivated us all to play hard because he said this was going to be one of the most memorable conferences given we're all in a bubble and it's the first time we're doing something like this."

Pringle, who also became the first Gin King since Greg Slaughter in the 2016-17 Governors' Cup to take home the trophy, was also named to the 2020 season's Elite Five alongside teammate Japeth Aguilar, Wright, Abueva, and TNT's Poy Erram.

Meanwhile, another Pringle teammate in Prince Caperal struck gold after winning this year's Most Improved Player (MIP) thanks to a career season with Ginebra.

Caperal blossomed into one of the league's best shooters in the recent conference and averaged 7.8 points on 42 percent shooting from long range while admirably filling the hole left by Greg Slaughter's absence in the middle.

The 27-year-old big man gathered 2,447 votes to beat Phoenix's Justin Chua (2,096) for the citation.

"I'm happy that the improvements in my game were recognized," Caperal shared. "I want to thank everyone who helped me -- the coaching staff, my teammates. This award wouldn't be possible without them."

Scottie Thompson joined Pringle, Aguilar and Caperal as the big winners during the awards night by taking home the Samboy Lim Sportsmanship Award.

Thompson, a pivotal do-it-all piece during the Gin Kings' title run, snapped Rain or Shine's Gabe Norwood's win streak of three straight years for the award and also beat Dyip's Perez and Phoenix's Abueva for the trophy.

"I'm happy and truly blessed that all that time of playing the game the right way and all my sacrifices bore fruit," said Thompson. "I'm just following the footsteps of kuya Gabe for playing the game the right way."

For the Outstanding Rookie award, it was Meralco's Aaron Black who shone above his fellow freshmen in the Philippine Cup.

Black, who became the lowest draft pick to win top rookie honors, was productive in 18 games and averaged 6.6 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 38.9 percent from the field and 34.7 percent on threes in almost 18 minutes of play.

The second-generation guard got 2,002 votes, edging out Barangay Ginebra's Arvin Tolentino (1,406), Alaska's Barkley Eboña (1,246), Terrafirma's Roosevelt Adams (1,045) and Magnolia's Aris Dionisio (800).

"It definitely feels great," Black said. "First of all, I want to thank God, my family, my friends, as well as my teammates, my coaches, the whole Meralco Bolts family. It's definitely a great feeling. This will definitely push me to work even harder for the next conference, and I'm looking forward to having what's in store for Meralco."