MANILA, Philippines—Scottie Thompson did what he does best in the Philippines' game against Iran on Monday night, as he skied high for rebounds, dove for loose balls, and kept possessions alive for Gilas Pilipinas, all to the delight of the Mall of Asia Arena crowd.
But he also committed the brutal turnover that doomed the hosts, eventually leading to a 78-70 loss to the visiting team that dented Gilas' hopes of playing in the FIBA World Cup next year.
"Ang dami naming lapses sa dulo," said Thompson, who went scoreless but grabbed six rebounds in the game. "Talagang wala din ako masabi."
" 'Yun nga, nag-turnover din ako sa dulo, so I don't know," he added. "Talagang masakit para sa amin, sa hometown natin."
Thompson had drawn the biggest cheers of the night thanks to his relentless activity. At one point in the third quarter, he tipped the ball to himself before passing it off to June Mar Fajardo for a 51-47 lead. Later in the game, he fired a no-look pass to Fajardo in transition that the big man just failed to convert.
"Lumabas na lang bigla 'yun sa game," Thompson said of his pass, which drew oohs and aahs from the crowd. "Under pressure, and 'yung mindset ko lang naman is go hard lagi."
"Nakikita ko rin 'yung teammates ko na open, and at the same time, gusto ko rin makapag-bigay ng extra possessions sa team," he added.
" '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."
Unfortunately for Thompson, he also committed the bad pass that all but sealed the Philippines defeat. Gilas was down 73-70 with 26 seconds left, and still had a chance to try and force overtime when Thompson went to inbound the ball.
His pass to Christian Standhardinger was picked off easily by Iran, however, and Thompson had no choice but to commit an intentional foul.
"As a team, madami din talaga kaming lapses," said Thompson, noting that they squandered an 8-point lead in the fourth quarter.
"I think, 'yung dulo, nangyari din sa amin noong Kazakhstan," he added. "Lumabas pa 'yung flow namin as a team, na kulang pa talaga."
The young Ginebra guard vowed that he would learn from the mistakes he committed in the game, and hopes to get another chance to put on the Gilas jersey in the near future.
"For me, i-charge ko 'yun sa experience as a player," he said. "At the same time, I'm excited to get better para sa team and for my personal career."
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