October 16, 2017

Thompson needs to work on his free throws

With 1:44 left in Game 2, Scottie Thompson stepped onto the free throw line after drawing a foul from Baser Amer. There were murmurs inside the Smart-Araneta Coliseum as the versatile guard gathered himself for the crucial freebies.

Ginebra led by only two points, 77-75, and the Kings needed Thompson to make both free throws to put more pressure on the Bolts and inch closer to their second straight victory in the 2017 PBA Governors' Cup.

However, there was an issue. Before that trip, Thompson was 0 for 7 from the line in the first three quarters and in some of those attempts, it appeared like he did not even want to be at the stripe.

Ginebra Governor Alfrancis Chua approached his ward just before he took the free throws and waves both his hands.

"Sabi ko lang wala siya dapat iniisip," Chua said later on. "Actually nung half time, sinabi ko sa kanya, 'When you take your free throws, masyado mong iniisip yung mga nagmimintis.' Masyado siyang nag-di-dribble, masyado siyang nag-i-isip. Sabi ko sa kanya when you get the ball, just shoot it."

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The reactions from the crowd grew louder and louder after every miss from the stripe from Thompson. The Ginebra fans were getting frustrated while still trying to stay positive as the young player has been one of their favorites from last season.

There was an audible sigh of relief when Thompson hit the first one and then there was a celebration when he sank the next to give them a more comfortable four-point lead and more importantly

"Nabigyan na ulit ng kumpiyansa yung bata kaya palagay ko dere-derecho na yan," Chua said about the huge free throws.

Thompson finished with 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists in the game. He went 3 of 4 from the field and 2 of 9 from the free throw line.

"Sinabi niya (Governor Chua) na okay naman lahat. Okay naman yung release ko," Thompson said after the game. "Yung mental part lang talaga yung kailangan kong ayusin. Pagkatapos nung mga unang mintis ko, pumapasok na talaga sa isip ko na baka magmintis ulit ako."

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Thompson admitted that the reactions from the jam-packed crowd made him feel more pressure on the free throw line but the cheers also gave him some confidence when he had none for his stroke.

"Nung pumasok yung una, na -relieve, nakadagdag confidence," Thompson closed. "Pero di pa rin enough yun. Kailangan ko pa maging consistent kasi bale wala kung ilang foul pa makuha ko kung di ko naman mapasok yung free throws."