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Tiebreaker Times

2023 FIBA World Cup

Scottie Thompson braces for Jordan challenge

Scottie Thompson felt glad to have given Ginebra a victory before rejoining Gilas Pilipinas for the FIBA World Cup 2023 Asian Qualifiers this week.

The reigning PBA MVP made sure to leave the Barangay on a triumphant note by leading the come-from-behind win over San Miguel Beer on Sunday night, which stretched their winning streak to three in the Commissioner’s Cup.

“Magandang panalo sa’min,” he said after the 97-96 win at the SMART Araneta Coliseum. “Bago kami umalis, naiwanan namin ng panalo ‘yung team.”

Not only was the W for their faithful but it would also serve as a morale booster for the Kings set for another tour of duty with the Nationals, said Thompson.

“Magandang confidence ‘yung dadalhin namin,” said the 29-year-old, a part of the Window 5 pool together with teammates Japeth Aguilar and Jamie Malonzo — as well as head coach Tim Cone, who’s in Chot Reyes’ staff.

Thompson was all smiles after Sunday night’s big win but it isn’t lost on him the task that lies ahead, in which a far bigger responsibility awaits.

The Davao del Sur native wants Gilas to sweep the upcoming window against Jordan and Saudi Arabia, but knows that it’s easier said than done.

It could be remembered that he and the Filipino dribblers only split their matches in the previous window, first losing a tight one against Wael Arakji and resurging Lebanon on the road before bouncing back versus KSA at home.

Now, another threat is on the horizon courtesy of the Jordanians, who were among the semifinalists of the FIBA Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta.

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The looming matchup will be a battle of squads carrying similar 3-3 records, with the team being mentored by Wesam Al-Sous coming in hungry also after going 1-1 in the last window that saw them lose big to New Zealand, 72-100.

Thompson knows, too, that desire alone won’t be enough if they are to sweep those two matches taking place on November 11 and 14 (Manila time).

“Unang-una, malakas ‘yung Jordan. Siyempre, gusto namin maipanalo lahat ng games don. Pero syempre, kailangan din namin mag-stick sa sistema at ma-learn ‘yung process ng system ni Coach Chot,” he said.

“And, tiwala lang sa sistema at sa lahat ng mga coaching staff. Let’s see. Basta, bibigay namin ‘yung best para sa bayan,” Thompson closed.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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