|Stanley Pringle looks to once again convert defense to explosive offense against Kazakhstan. Nina Carezon (file photo)|
By Ivan Saldajeno
PASAY--When Gilas Pilipinas took on Kazakhstan in the Asian Games in Jakarta last August, Stanley Pringle took charge in dealing the Kazakhs a sound beating.
[Related Story: Gilas makes quick work of sluggish Kazakhstan in Asian Games debut]
But for Pringle, it was just him putting a premium on defense.
"I think I was more focused defensively than offensively," Pringle told Dugout Philippines on Thursday night during Gilas' final practice ahead of their rematch at the Mall of Asia Arena the night after..
"Some of those points were due to just attacking the basket and being aggressive. But I think what's important last meeting was putting more defensive pressure on the guards."
This time, though, Gilas and Kazakhstan will play for a bigger prize as they are vying for a spot in the FIBA World Cup next year in China.
Gilas is currently in third place in their group, and victories against Kazakhstan and Iran in the Asian Qualifiers this weekend will move the team closer to a spot in the main tournament.
On the other hand, Kazakhstan looks to stay alive in the running for a Top 3 finish in their group, which means outright qualification to the FIBA World Cup.
"We'll play them twice, but this one game is big 'coz the top three gets to the World Cup. We're putting so much focus on each game," Pringle further said.
Pringle has been named to the lineup that will play Kazakhstan in hopes that Coach Yeng Guiao will get another great game from him.
"Right now, I'm trying to block everything out, staying focused for the game, and giving everything that I got," Pringle continued.
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