LICKING the wounds of their shattered ‘three-peat’ hopes for the PBA Governors’ Cup title, Barangay Ginebra stars Scottie Thompson, LA Tenorio, Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar are all eager to move on and shift their focus on the men’s national basketball team, which will see action in the fifth window of the FIBA World Cup 2019 qualifiers.
After ending their PBA season with a heartbreaking 108-112 loss to archrival Magnolia in Game 4 of the semifinals last Friday, the four Gin King said that joining the 20-man national pool is helping them to ease the pain.
“Unang-una siyempre for us nahihirapan pa rin dun sa nangyari sa game namin. Siguro eto ‘yung way para maka-move on kami,” said Thompson, who played for Team Pilipinas in the fourth window last September. “Excited kami to start ulit at makasama ulit yung mga bago, especially kuya LA. At least magkasama ulit kami ngayon, mga Ginebra boys.”
Tenorio, who is returning to the national team for the first time since 2016, also felt the same and he is looking to bring all the lessons he learned from that setback in a chance to represent the country again.
“I started to learn how to really move on and learn a lot from what happened last season,” the veteran Ginebra playmaker said.
“Of course for me it’s sad, very frustrating and disappointing," he was quick to add. "For me ah, siguro after a day or two, good thing we have Gilas also na yun nga we have the opportunity to at least get up and move forward and learn something new each and every day.”
Aguilar, a national team mainstay, agreed.
“Para sa akin move on na, focus muna sa national team pero you know learning experience yung naging series namin. So take what you learn na lang and move on,” the high-flying 6-foot-9 forward said.
For Slaughter, who is fit again after missing the September window due to an ankle injury, he is eager to make the most out of the 12 remaining days to catch up with Team Pilipinas.
“Yeah, it's cool. All the guys are here. We kinda just try to get used to playing back under Yeng's system after kinda going back-and-forth,” the 7-foot center said. “It's nice to have LA now, too. Just to have all the guys over here and finally get this show on the road.”
The four Ginebra players will not be utilized by national team coach Yeng Guiao in Monday’s tune-up game against Jordan since they had one day of practice. But three more friendly matches await them against the Jordanians again on Wednesday and a pair of games with Lebanon on November 23 and 25.