If Gilas calls, Scottie Thompson will answer
MANILA, Philippines – Donning the Philippine colors is an opportunity Barangay Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson would not pass up on.
Thompson said he would welcome an inclusion to the Gilas Pilipinas after reports surfaced that national team head coach Yeng Guiao is eyeing him as one of the key additions for the second round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
"Willing ako para sa bansa natin. Syempre kung ano 'yung pwede kong maitulong talaga, especially para sa Pilipinas, so gagawin ko 'yung best ko," Thompson said after the Gin Kings won their first game in the 2018 PBA Governors' Cup.
(I'm willing to play for our country. Whatever I can do to help, especially for the Philippines, I will do my best.)
The past few weeks have been impressive for the third-year guard, to say the least.
Just earlier this month, Thompson was hailed as the Finals Most Valuable Player after Ginebra hoisted the Commissioner's Cup trophy.
And now, he could represent the country as the national team undergoes a revamp due to the suspension of 10 Gilas players following their involvement in the Philippine-Australia brawl during a World Cup qualifier.
"Ang bilis ng lahat ng pangyayari sa buhay ko. So, I think, for me, kailangan ko lang i-manage ang time ko ng mabuti, alagaan ang sarili ko para sa future."
(Everything's been going fast in my life. I think I just need manage my time and take care of myself for the future.)
If ever, this will not be the first time that the Digos City native would be playing internationally.
Three years ago, he was part of the Sinag Pilipinas squad that won gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games and the SEABA Championship.
But Thompson knows it would be a different battle this time, and with higher stakes.
"Unang una syempre pressured at the same time excited kasi hindi lahat ng player nabibigyan ng ganitong pagkakataon. Hindi madali pero paghihirapan ko."
(I'm pressured but at the same time excited because not all players are given this opportunity. It will not be easy but I will work hard for it.)
Thompson will join Gilas as it begins practice on Monday, September 3, for its upcoming games against Iran and Qatar on September 13 and 17, respectively. – Rappler.com