SCOTTIE Thompson scored 11 points and five steals in the game, but an endgame interception turned out to be the biggest play for Hapee on Thursday.
The Perpetual Help star anticipated a Moala Tautuaa pass and lifted Hapee to a title in its maiden PBA D-League stint.
With Baser Amer only hitting one free throw and Hapee still behind, 90-91, Tautuaa, the first overall pick in last year's rookie draft, had the ball in his hands on the backcourt, attempting to throw a long pass to the frontcourt.
Tautuaa’s pass fell right into the hands of Thompson, whose lay-up gave Hapee a 92-91 lead.
That proved to be the pivotal basket as the Fresh Fighters swept Cagayan Valley in the best-of-three Aspirant Cup finals series.
“Nabasa ko sa mata niya na ipapasa niya,” recalled the NCAA Season 90 Most Valuable Player. “Pagtalon ko, nakuha ko ’yung bola.”
“Siguro, biyaya ni God sa akin ’yun. Binigay ni God sa akin ’yung bola,” Thompson added.
Thompson’s heroics allowed Hapee to its first PBA D-League title in its debut conference after winning five crowns in the defunct Philippine Basketball League.
“Sobrang saya ko kasi sunud-sunod ’yung blessing sa akin. Thankful ako kay God,” said Thompson, who won the MVP crown in the NCAA last year.
A star player for University of Perpetual Help Altas, Thompson accepts he has a much different role on a star-studded line-up with the Fresh Fighters.
“Tanggap ko ang role ko dito. Alam ko na role player ako dito. Masaya ako na ’yung pinaghirapan ko, nagbunga,” said the Davao native.