by Kevin Sox
Barangay Ginebra San Miguel guard Scottie Thompson is the latest player to beg off from the Gilas Pilipinas men’s national team pool for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup, head coach Yeng Guiao confirmed on Monday after the team’s practice at the Meralco Gym.
“He feels he’s not ready to compete internationally. It is his belief that there are other players who can take his slot and who can perform his role,” said Guiao, per Rappler.com.
The development came a few days after long-time national Jayson Castro announced his retirement from the squad and after Ray Parks Jr. also deferred suiting up.
This left Gilas scrambling for more backcourt depth, bringing in PBA rookies Robert Bolick and CJ Perez into the pool. Coincidentally, Kiefer Ravena’s suspension from practice has also been lifted, allowing him to re-join national team activities.
“He said he needs to develop his game, he needs to mature his game in order to play at the standards of the international level,” relayed Guiao.
Thompson joined Gilas Pilipinas in the second round of the FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, although struggled to find a niche with the nationals, averaging only 2.8 PPG, 3.8 RPG, and 1.8 APG in five appearances.
It was one of the reasons why the wunderkind wanted to be excluded from the pool: to give priority to those whom he thinks are more deserving to make the final 12.
Guiao appreciated the gesture from Thompson, saying:
“He wants to get better and improve his skills before he returns to Gilas if ever invited. His intention is good. He was humble and honest enough to stake the truth unlike other people who make up excuses.”