Scottie Thompson rues error-filled endgame in Gilas loss
MANILA, Philippines – Scottie Thompson couldn't put in words what happened in Gilas Pilipinas' error-plagued finish that led to a heartbreaking 70-78 loss to Iran in the World Cup qualifiers on Monday, December 3.
Trailing 70-73 with 26 seconds left, the Filipinos had ample time to equalize or narrow the gap but Thompson committed a costly turnover on an inbound pass that essentially sealed the triumph for the Iranians.
What made matters worse was it was his first turnover in more than 11 minutes of play after tallying 6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 1 steal.
It didn't end there as Troy Rosario, with Iran now leading 76-70, also committed an errant inbound pass.
"Dami naming lapses sa dulo. Talagang wala din ako masabi," a dejected Thompson told reporters. "'Yun nga nag-turnover din ako sa dulo, so I don't know."
(We had plenty of lapses in the end. I really can't saying anything about it. Then I committed a turnover in the end, so I don't know.)
"Talagang masakit para sa amin, sa hometown natin (It's really painful for us, for our hometown)," he added.
Just like what he does with Barangay Ginebra, Thompson hyped up the crowd throughout the game as he hauled down emphatic rebound after emphatic rebound.
At one point, he grabbed an offensive board and quickly dished off an assist to June Mar Fajardo for a 51-47 Gilas lead with two minutes left in the 3rd quarter.
"'Yun lang naman talaga – 'yung best way ko para makatulong sa team, sa bansa so talagang binuhos ko na lahat 'yung hustle ko sa game (That's the best way I could help the team, the country so I poured in all my hustle to the game)," Thompson said.
Unfortunately, his impressive game went for naught now that the Filipinos' World Cup bid was hit with a huge dent as they fell to 5-5 and to 4th place in Group F.
A win would have propelled Gilas to a share of 2nd place with Iran and Japan. Now, Iran holds solo 2nd with a 7-3 card while Japan jumped to 3rd behind a 6-4 slate.
With the Philippines now in a backs-against-the-wall situation, Thompson aches to improve on his game.
"For me, i-charge ko 'yun sa experience as a player and at the same time, I'm excited to get better para sa team and for my personal career (I want to charge this to my experience as a player and at the same time, I'm excited to get better for the team and for my personal career)," he said. – Rappler.com