MANILA, PHILIPPINES — After two consecutive losses – the first the
result of the now infamous brawl with Australia and most recently, an
81-73 loss to Iran in the Asian Qualifiers for the 2019 Fiba World
Cup, the Philippines hopes to get a boost with two familiar faces.
Forward-center Japeth Aguilar and point guard Stanley Pringle will be
back in harness for coach Yeng Guiao when the Philippines takes on
Qatar this coming Monday, September 17.
Aguilar is back in a national team jersey after having served a
one-game ban for his role in the fracas with Australia during the last
Fiba window while Pringle will get the nod as the team’s naturalized
player in lieu of Christian Standhardinger.
Aguilar will provide a veteran presence underneath the boards while
Pringle will help push the pace against a tall Qatar team that will be
coached by a familiar face in Briton Tim Lewis.
To many Filipino basketball fans, Lewis, who had a stint with the
Toronto Raptors organization in the NBA, was the head coach of
Thailand in the last Southeast Asian Games. He also served briefly as
a consultant to Gilas in the next Fiba window as well as for Talk ‘N
Text in the PBA.
Unfortunately for Lewis and Qatar, all his main men are out with
injuries. Abdulrahman Saad, Erfan Saeed, Mansour El Hadary, and
Clinton F. Johnson are all out with various ailments. “I am even
fielding students,” quipped Lewis to Business Mirror.
Pringle made his debut in a national jersey for five-on-five
basketball during the last Asian Games where he averaged 10.8 points,
4.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists in the Philippines’ fifth place finish.
The Philippines is currently at third place of Group F with a 4-3
record while Qatar, blown out by Australia, 95-43, in their last match
is at the bottom with a 2-5 record.
The top three teams of Groups E and F along with the best fourth place
will advance to the 2019 FIBA World Cup in August of 2019 in China.