|Scottie Thompson has already been in one triple overtime game before. PBA Media Bureau|
By Ivan Saldajeno
QUEZON CITY--On July 25, 2011, just two weeks after his 18th birthday, a college rookie named Earl Thompson thought he already gave Perpetual Help its first win during that NCAA season following a 0-4 start in an overtime game against JRU as he scored on a layup with 0.7 second left in the first extra session.
But Alex Almario found John Lopez underneath for an alley-oop play just before the buzzer sounded to force a second overtime.
That game went to triple overtime, and it ended on a buzzer-beating basket by George Allen--just when everyone thought a fourth overtime will ensue--to give the Altas a 79-77 squeaker over the Heavy Bombers.
Fast forward to Friday night, seven years after that interestingly non-televised NCAA classic happened.
Thompson, now known by his other first name Scottie, found himself in a triple OT thriller in similar low-scoring fashion again, this time in an arena way larger than the FilOil Flying V Centre, with a live television broadcast, and, unlike the said NCAA game that happened early into its season, with huge playoff implications.
Ginebra and Rain Or Shine figured out in a PBA Philippine Cup showdown at the Smart Araneta Coliseum that needed three overtimes to decide the result.
"Ayaw ibigay ng bawat isa [ang laro]. Gustong-gusto lahat manalo para sa placing," Thompson thought about the game.
For him, however, he felt as if he's at his first triple overtime game ever all over again.
"Nanibago [ako]," Thompson said.
He added that the difference in the level of play between college and pro hoops also led him to think that he was at an uncharted territory during the match that lasted for three hours.
"PBA na ito, especially ngayon, mas pisikal, talagang nagkakabangaan, mas nakakapagod," Thompson further said.
Luckily for him, his teammates put the result beyond doubt in the last two minutes, going on an 8-0 run to give the Barangay a 100-92 win over the Elasto Painters.
[Related Story: Ginebra zooms to Top 5 after downing ROS in triple OT thriller]
Thompson, who played for 38 and a half minutes, did pretty well for the Barangay, tallying 10 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, and one steal, and for him, it's all about stepping up.
"Sabi ni Coach Tim [Cone], out si Greg [Slaughter]. Kailangan naming mga guards na mag-step up," Thompson further said.
If there is one takeaway Thompson got during the two triple overtime games he was in, that would be this: "Doon mo makikita yung conditioning, stamina, toughness, and focus sa game ng mga players--kung gaano mo kagustong makuha yung panalo."
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