IF he can deliver in limited minutes, imagine what Earl Thompson can do with more playing time.
The new University of Perpetual Help star continues to ease his way back into the rotation as he tries to lead the Altas to a second successive win on Monday when they take on an unrelenting Jose Rizal University in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
The Altas gun for a share of the lead when they face the Heavy Bombers at 6 p.m. in Thompson’s second game back from a back injury that caused him to miss the entire preseason tournament.
Thrust into the spotlight with the departure of gunner Jet Vidal, Thompson sparkled in the Altas’ 69-49 victory over Emilio Aguinaldo College last Thursday.
Despite suiting up only in the fourth quarter, the pride of Digos City, Davao del Sur ended up with a game-high 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting and four rebounds in 10 minutes of play against the Generals.
“Alam ko naman na tinatantiya lang nila (coach) kung kaya ko sa court. Pero pag pinasok ako, pinapakita ko sa kanila na kaya ko makipagsabayan sa team,” said Thompson, who was adjudged Most Improved Player last season.
The athletic swingman is also not worrying much about carrying most of the load as he has capable teammates in Nigerian import Nosa Omorogbe, veteran Harold Arboleda, and rookie Juneric Baloria to get help from.
“Pressure, sobra, pero maganda naman sa amin sa team kasi everyone is stepping up. Maganda yung rotation sa court,” Thompson said.
He and the rest of the Altas are gearing up for a Bombers side that lives and dies with a suffocating full-court defense, a ploy that worked in their 83-72 win over Mapua last week.
San Sebastian vies for a second win in three tries as it faces Mapua at 4 o’clock.
Behind newcomers Jamil Ortuoste, Bradwyn Guinto, CJ Perez, and Leodaniel de Vera, the Stags nipped Arellano, 78-76, last week.