Scottie Thompson, with injury behind him, vows to give his best for Gilas in Fiba World Cup
MANILA, Philippines—Fit-again Scottie Thompson is determined to make his fellow countrymen proud as Gilas Pilipinas defends its home court in the Fiba World Cup 2023 starting on Friday at Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
After rejoining Gilas without restrictions last week following his recovery from a metacarpal fracture on his right hand, the reigning PBA Most Valuable Player is no longer thinking about his recent injury as he remained focused on his goal to contribute to the squad if he makes the final cut.
“Everything is good. [I’m] slowly getting back and of course, my hand is slowly getting better. It heals every day. And that’s a good thing and good news for me,” Thompson told Inquirer Sports in Filipino.
“I’m not thinking of my injury anymore. It’s for the country already so no matter what happens, I want to give my best for our country and I don’t want to have any regrets in the end,” he added.
The Barangay Ginebra guard, who injured his hand during the Lithuania camp that sidelined him for weeks including the team’s build-up in China, played in the final three tuneup games of Gilas, which lost back-to-back to Montenegro and Mexico.
Thompson is sticking to the positives despite the pair of setbacks and he hopes that Gilas will be on the same page when they face the Karl-Anthony Towns-led Dominican Republic on Friday at Philippine Arena before battling other Group A foes Angola and Italy.
“It’s hard to lose even though in tune-up games but I think, for us, we really need to think positive despite the loss. We’re keeping our positive thoughts from those games. We learn from those losses and we hope to continue improving coming to our first game,” he said.
“What’s important for us is to be on the same page on whatever we do. I think we will do well if we will have the same target.”
Thompson, who averaged 6.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists in six games during the second round of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, said that Gilas, bannered by NBA star Jordan Clarkson, continues to work on further improving its chemistry.
“We’ve been together for a while and we already went through a lot, especially off the court, we really know each other. We hope to bring it on the court during games. We will give our all whatever it takes,” Thompson said.
With coach Chot Reyes and the coaching staff announcing the Final 12 for the World Cup out of the 16-man pool on Wednesday, Thompson vows to be at his best for his countrymen.
“Coach Chot and our coaching staff are always pointing out the importance of this World Cup and how inspiring to play for our country. We know our responsibilities to our country. Hopefully, we’ll make all our kababayans proud,” Thompson said.