Scottie Thompson hopeful Ginebra can still avoid twice-to-win disadvantage in playoffs
Scottie Thompson's 17 points and 13 rebounds went down the drain for Ginebra. Clems Dela Cruz

BOCAUE – Scottie Thompson feels Barangay Ginebra’s 84-82 loss to Meralco in the PBA Philippine Cup came as a reality check for the Gin Kings - and a reminder that they still have plenty to work ahead of them.

The two-time defending Governors’ Cup champions continued an up-and-down campaign in the season-opening conference after surrendering a close decision to a Bolts side that’s on the verge of elimination following back-to-back blowout victories.

“Kanya-kanyang tingin naman yan para sa mga teams, kung tingin nila sa amin malakas, pero para sa amin, lahat ng teams contenders,” Thompson said. “Hindi namin iniisip na mas mataas kami sa kanila.”

The Gin Kings stayed in sixth spot after dropping to 5-5, leaving them in danger of finishing seventh or eighth with a twice-to-beat disadvantage in the quarterfinals.

Ginebra was in the same situation in the last all-Filipino conference, finishing in seventh place at 6-5, but still got through twice-to-beat Alaska in the first round of the playoffs and reached the finals before losing to San Miguel Beer in five games.

Still, Thompson is hoping they won’t have to go through the hard way again.

“Dahil sa nangyari (against Meralco) kailangan namin mag-work hard pa sa practice at sa games para makuha yung top six at di na kami mahirapan,” Thompson said. “Last conference, number seven kami at ayaw na namin mangyari yun.”

Thompson did all he could as the pass-first playmaker went aggressive this time and finished with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting, grabbed 13 rebounds, and issued five assists, against two turnovers in 38 minutes as a starter.

“We really needed this game,” the third-year guard and former NCAA MVP out of University of Perpetual Help said. “Ito na yung maga-assure sa amin sa playoffs. Dahil sa nangyari, we need to work hard pa the next game. Ayun nga, kailangan target namin nasa top six para best of three.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos