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Scottie raves about FIBA stint

Scottie Thompson relishes opportunity seeing action in the FIBA World Cup for the first time. (Photo, FIBA)

Barangay Ginebra star guard Scottie Thompson admitted that he played below par in his FIBA Workd Cup debut but the experience playing alongside some of the world’s best dribblers will only make him a better player.

“I don’t make the injury as an excuse. My performance wasn’t really good. I really struggled, not just because I have an injury,” Thompson, the Philippinje Basketball Association Most Valuable Playter, said of his right finger fracture.

“This is the World Cup, the biggest basketball event and I just struggled. But this will help me build my character and I will bring this experience throughout my playing career.”

Thompson was among those cut when Gilas campaigned in the 2019 worlds in China but he persevered and eventually convinced Chot Reyes that he was worthy of a slot.

Despite his not-so-impressive showing in the 2023 edition, Thompson just can’t get over the experience.

“It’s the best experience for me, to be with the best players on and off the court, and the best players in the Philippines, Jordan Clarkson, it means so much to me. I will definitely treasure this and share this story to my son once he has grown up. I think that’s the best part.”

But for AJ Edu, the FIBA stint was more than that.

Back in the 2019 World Cup Uner-19, Edu teamed up with Kai Sotto but an anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus right injury saw him play for just one game.

“It’s pretty crazy home things come in full circle. I was injured in 2019 when I was playing for the Gilas under-19 team in the World Cup, and I had a series of injuries since then.  The way things come full circle, and the way the Lord was so faithful in letting me to be in this position and compete and allowing us to win a game, I’m thankful for this opportunity,” added Edu.

Prior to joining the Gilas men’s squad, Edu was also coming off an ankle injury he suffered during training in Brisbane, but he patiently waited for the right time while watching and learning from players like June Mar Fajardo and Japeth Aguilar.

Don’t be surprised if Edu, who provided magical moments for Gilas, will be called in to play in the Asian games next month in Hangzhou, China.

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