SONNY Thoss took advantage of the absence of Greg Slaughter as he dominated inside the paint for Alaska in its 97-83 win over Ginebra on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
The veteran 6-foot-7 big man came away with 17 points and dominated his match-up against Japeth Aguilar, who struggled with foul trouble in the second half.
Thoss even scored five crucial points down the stretch just when the crowd darlings were threatening to close the distance, including a rare three pointer with 2:53 to go in the game to give Alaska a 92-78 lead in the game.
Coach Alex Compton was all praises for the 36-year-old slotman, especially since the 14-year veteran has been hobbled with a leg injury.
“For the past halos dalawang taon na, si Sonny, he's playing on one leg. So now he's slowly getting stronger. We'll be praying that he'll be like fine wine, that he'll keep getting better with age,” said Compton.
“He's really been getting stronger. You can see it, some of the moves that he couldn't really actually make the last few conferences, he's starting to get there a little more, he's starting to be a little more mobile,” he added.
Thoss’ resurgence is a welcome sight for Compton, who has led the Aces to three straight wins after starting off the Philippine Cup with two consecutive losses.
“Siyempre si Sonny, malaking bagay sa amin, 6-foot-7 veteran, winner din 'yun. So it's really nice to see him play well,” Compton continued.
“I guess he's probably gonna tell me that we need to run more plays to get him three-point shots after he made one today, but we'll see,” he added in jest.
Thoss, though, was just thankful to their medical staff who’ve been so instrumental in his road to recovery.
“I’m feeling better. I’m thankful for our medical staff. They’ve been working with me the whole time,” he said.
“We’re still working on getting better, getting stronger so we just have to work it on a day-to-day basis and continue what I’m doing with them. I’m very thankful for those guys, they’ve done a lot for me.”
As for his big game? It did help that Slaughter was sidelined with an injury but he believes that they would have still taken on the Gin Kings with the same intensity.
“Yeah it definitely helped. He’s a big guy, he’s a big presence inside so it took one big guy off our shoulder. But we would have still played the same,” said Thoss.