Gilas Pilipinas defeated Jordan 75-66 in the fifth round of the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifications at Prince Hamzah Hall in Amman; Scottie Thompson once again demonstrated his prowess at regaining possession the ball.
Thompson, a versatile player for Barangay Ginebra, said that the game was about more than just his “kalawit” rebound. He noted that it was all about the heart.
“‘Yun nga, hindi naman talaga kalawit rebound yung … puso, it’s all about heart lang talaga kanina, lalong lalo na pag naglaro ka sa Pilipinas, may puso ka,” he said after their victory.
“‘Yung mga na-rebound ko na ‘yun, all heart na lang ‘yun. Para sa team, especially down the stretch, ginagawa ko lang yung best ko.”
Scottie Thompson’s Comeback
Even with Kai Sotto on the team, the Nationals had a shorter lineup than Jordan, whose players were, on average, 6 feet 5 inches tall.
But Gilas relied on how athletic they were and how good their defense was, especially in the second half.
“I think na-feel ko sa defense namin, talagang aside doon sa rebounding namin, ‘yung defense namin solid at mas nag-uusap kami,” said Thompson, the 2021 PBA Most Valuable Player.
Thompson was also happy they could show the Filipinos at Prince Hamzah Hall a good time.
“Kaunti lang sila pero mas maingay pa sila sa banda doon sa gilid natin. So talagang ramdam namin, bibihira na makanood sila ng basketball dito. Napapanood nila kami. Malaking bagay sila kanina sa game. Sobrang lakas ng sigaw nila kahit kaunti lang sila, talagang yung support nila, parang home court namin,” he said.
Saudi Arabia is up next for Gilas.
Thompson hopes they can do as well against the Saudis in Jeddah as they did before.
“Stick lang kami sa system ni coach. Trust the process. Lahat ng mga pinapagawa niya sa amin, stick kami doon,” he said.
“Malaking bagay sa amin ‘tong panalo na ito coming to Saudi, at least yung confidence namin mataas. Syempre home court nila. Siguro, sana mas mahigitan pa namin yung energy namin sa Saudi kasi malaking bagay din ‘yun for us.”
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