Thriller hero and the goat
THE ONLY thing that marred Gin Kings rookie Scottie Thompson’s big night on Sunday was his forced exit with just 2.1 seconds to go in Barangay Ginebra’s nail-biting 91-90 victory over NLEX Sunday night.
And absolutely the only thing that ruined Road Warrior Sean Anthony’s night was his misfire of the game’s last shot—a virtual “gimme”—that could have kept NLEX in the hunt for a twice-to-beat privilege in the Smart Bro-PBA Philippine Cup.
“That’s definitely the biggest miss of my career, in any level,” a sulking Anthony told the Inquirer as he made his way to the Smart Araneta Coliseum parking lot, the last player to step out of the gloomy NLEX dugout.
The Road Warriors actually had 10.1 seconds left to make a game-winning play after Thompson nailed two free throws on the other end. The first possession was so rough the 5-foot-11 Thompson, who shot 14 points, got banged up by the 6-10 Asi Taulava and had to leave the floor because of a shoulder injury.
Incidentally, Thompson’s MRI scan yesterday showed no major injury. Team physicians are to examine the former NCAA MVP tomorrow to determine his availability for Friday’s practice.
After Ginbera top scorer Greg Slaughter (18 points) tipped out another inbounds pass by NLEX, leaving 1.5 seconds on the clock, Anthony slipped away from Joe Devance and was left wide open at point-blank range for what seemed like an easy short stab for the win.
“I now feel that I should have taken my time out there,” the 6-4 Anthony said. “I had a lot of time, not really to fake out (Devance) but to just take my time and make sure of it.”
The loss was galling for the Road Warriors, who dropped to a 4-6 slate and bombed out of the race of a huge advantage in the first phase of the quarterfinals.