Contrary to the initial plan of adding amateur players to this year’s Gilas Pilipinas pool for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, newly appointed head coach Tim Cone opted to go for an all-PBA team in the upcoming biennial meet.
Tasked to come up with a new system with just a few weeks of preparation, the multi-titled coach opted to go for his old reliables — naming six players from the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel to his 15-man pool.
FOX Sports Philippines provides the lowdown on how good the Ginebra core will be — beginning with the trio of Japeth Aguilar, Stanley Pringle, and Scottie Thompson.
The wiry slotman is Ginebra’s most experienced national team reinforcement, having been under the Gilas banner since 2009. Despite his struggles against superior competition in the 2019 FIBA World Cup, Aguilar is still one of the continent’s premium big men.
His athleticism and familiarity with the international game will no doubt pose problems to some of our Asian neighbours. At his best, Japeth is a lob-gobbling, shot-blocking machine that will anchor coach Cone’s interior.
Stan “The Man” would have been a shoe-in as Gilas’ main guard if only he obtained a Filipino passport before turning 16. Fans have seen glimpses of how devastating Pringle can be in the international stage, suiting up for Gilas in the 2018 Asian Games and serving as the team’s naturalized player (alongside Christian Standhardinger) in two games of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Qualifiers.
He turned heads as the second-in-command to Jordan Clarkson in last year’s Asian Games, norming 13 points, 4 rebounds, 3.2 assists per game and shooting a whopping 60 percent from the three-point line.
Diehard Ginebra hopefuls will be thrilled to see Scottie don the national team colors anew — especially after he begged off from the 2019 FIBA World Cup pool. Thompson played five games in last year’s Qualifiers, tallying 2.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in limited minutes.
Although his inexperience showed in some stretches, Thompson proved that his uncanny ability to provide energy with his hustle plays translates to the international stage.