Twice the pain for Earl Thompson as he suffers boxer's cut in Altas loss to Cardinals
Blood flows down from a nasty cut Altas star Earl Thompson suffered on his right eyebrow after a clash of heads with teammate Harold Arboleda. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of Perpetual Help star Earl Thompson surely felt pain when he suffered a nasty cut on his right eyebrow after a clash of heads with teammate Harold Arboleda early in the fourth quarter of their game against Mapua in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament on Wednesday.

But the agony of losing to the Cardinals, 81-91, was certainly greater for the athletic guard.

“Syempre yung talo,” Thompson said when asked what was more painful.

Still reeling from a 76-80 overtime loss to Jose Rizal University, the Altas dropped a second straight match for an 8-6 win-loss card to fall a game behind fourth-running College of St. Benilde.

[See Cardinals sustain resurgence, stun Altas for third successive win]

The Altas did draw another fine, all-around showing from Thompson, who scattered 20 points, nine boards, five assists, and one steal against six turnovers to solidify his status as the league’s leading MVP candidate.

But Thompson admitted his team fell complacent against the resurgent Cardinals, who stretched their winning streak to three games to move up to eighth place with a 4-10 record.

“Siguro nag-kumpiyansa lang kami ulit,” the pride of Digos City said. “Masyadong kampante rin siguro kaya nawala yung depensa namin.”

As a result, the Altas allowed the Cardinals to score a season-high in scoring after letting them shoot 48 percent from the field.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos