MANILA, Philippines — Earl Thompson could hardly even stand up straight as his lower back injury continued to cause trouble.
But for some reason, Thompson managed to endure the pain dealt by a bulging disc and show flashes of his explosive form.
“Hindi ko nga din alam kung paano ako nakapaglaro ng ganoon kanina,” said the third year guard Thompson after his 11 points on five-of-eight shooting along with three rebounds, two assists, one steal and a block helped Perpetual Help beat Arellano Monday. “Masama talaga laro past few games pero binibigyan pa din nila ako ng confidence sa practice.”
“Kahapon maganda practice niya. Maganda takbo niya so sabi ko kay Lester subukan mo si Thompson,” said Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario. “Malaking tulong siya sa amin dito sa second round.”
During Thompson’s 15-minute stretch on the court, he gave the league a glimpse of what a fearsome tandem he and Juneric Baloria could be — dangerous on the open floor and lethal on the perimeter with their outside shooting and ability to create shots.
“Nagkakaintindihan kaming dalawa. Mino-motivate ko talaga siya,” Thompson said of Baloria, who currently leads the league in scoring.
Despite all of his struggles this season, Thompson said he never felt discouraged even if he would play just five minutes or even sit the entire game out due to his injury.
“Hindi ko nafi-feel yon kasi nananalo kami. Dasal lang ako talaga nang dasal na makabalik ako. Okay lang kahit hindi maganda laro ko kasi ang importante manalo yung team.”
After finally getting back his form, Thompson is now keeping his fingers crossed that this will be the start of things to come. “Hopefully tuluy-tuloy na ‘to.”