If there’s one way the backcourt duo of Alex Cabagnot and Scottie Thompson would describe their Gilas Pilipinas debut in the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers on Thursday, they’d probably say it was harsh.
They did not receive the kind of welcome to the international arena that they envisioned, as the Filipino dribblers faltered to Nik Khabahrahmi and Asian powerhouse Iran, 73-81, at a hostile Azadi Sports Complex in Tehran.
The Philippines absorbed its second straight loss and are now 4-3 in the Qualifiers, while Iran – despite not getting much from star big man Hamed Haddadi, as he is currently nursing a groin injury – has improved to 6-1.
But in terms of their performances, Cabagnot and Thompson showed that they are truly solid additions to Gilas.
Cabagnot, 35, brought his court generalship and gunslinging wits to the national team, weapons that have been his bread and butter with the San Miguel Beermen, and was among the men who kept Gilas at-par with the Iranians.
The 6-foot point guard from Quezon City collected nine points, five assists, two rebounds, a steal, and a block in the 30 minutes he graced the court – he was, in fact, even fielded in by head coach Yeng Guiao as a starter.
On the other hand, Thompson showed that he can also bring to Gilas what he has been doing with the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
A Sinag Pilipinas member back in 2015, Thompson delivered an all-around performance to the tune of five points, three rebounds, three steals, a steal and a block each in just 10 minutes and 41 seconds of playing time. Moreover, he was a plus-3 to end the game.
The proud son of Digos, Davao del Sur even had his signature Scottie rebound in the third quarter, where he rose high over a much taller Iranian opponent.
Thursday night’s result is obviously a tough pill to swallow, but now that they have tasted what it’s like being and playing on the international stage, the future has only become brighter for this new era of flagbearers.
Jimmy Alapag can’t wait to ‘get back to school’ with Sacramento Kings
Triple-double doesn’t matter for Chris Ross if it ends up in loss: ‘I like to win’
Charles Rhodes says sorry to San Miguel after foul-plagued game: ‘I let them down’
Motolite remains calm despite need to rack up wins
Ateneo Lady Eagles in unison: ‘Sisi Rondina made everything so much harder’
Mighty Sports taps Mikey Williams, Aaron Black for Jones Cup
Tolentino siblings made sure to bring glory to Ateneo in final years
Kat Tolentino leaves Ateneo at peace
Saldua’s putback, Robles’ swat pave way for Davao Occidental’s escape of Zamboanga
Collado, Gabo connive as Basilan Steel give Bicol rude MPBL welcome
Motolite picks up first win at skidding Bali Pure’s expense
PacificTown-Army ends first round at solo third, outlasts BanKo
- News4 days ago
Bryan Bagunas signs with Oita Miyoshi Weisse Adler
- News4 days ago
Kalei Mau on choosing F2: ‘I thought about what team will benefit me as a player’
- Basketball5 days ago
Alex Nuyles gets a new lease on life with Bicol Volcanoes
- News3 days ago
Aby Marano can’t wait to unleash Kalei Mau’s inner BMDC