If Perpetual Help can sustain its sharp form, the Altas have what it takes to go all the way in the 92nd NCAA seniors basketball tournament.
Take that from former Perpetual Help star Earl Scottie Thompson who believes the Altas have all the tools to make a return trip to the Final Four this season and even claim the school’s breakthrough men’s cage title since joining the league in 1984.
“Para sa akin, kayang-kaya nilang kunin ‘yung championship ngayon,” said the 6-foot-1 Thompson who was left impressed with how Perpetual Help stopped erstwhile streaking Arellano U on Thursday behind a dominant 76-62 victory at The Arena in San Juan City.
The depth and the suffocating defense which the Altas lacked in Thompson’s farewell season last year will serve as Perpetual Help’s advantage in their title bid.
“Nakikita ko sa kanila, halos lahat ginagamit, halos lahat nagko-contribute. ‘Yun ang wala sa amin dati na mayroon sila ngayon,” said Thompson, a former NCAA MVP awardee who’s now suiting up for crowd favorite Barangay Ginebra in the pro ranks.
“‘Yung defense nila, ‘yun ang pinaka nag-improve sa Altas ngayon. Halos lahat sila focus sa defense kaya ang ganda ng record nila ngayon.”
Thompson was most impressed with how Keith Pido, his former back-up, has improved and even made a good account of himself against Arellano U star Jiovani Jalalon.
“Nu’ng last year pa lang, talagang si Pido pwedeng pwede na. Siguro dati wala lang siyang kumpiyansa. Sa practice naman, talagang contender si Pido at nakikipag-bakbakan. ‘Yung pinaghirapan niya last year, nagbubunga na ngayon. Nabigyan siya ng kumpiyansa kaya maganda ang nangyari sa kanya,” he said.
Although he’s more focused on helping the Gin Kings realize their own championship dream in the PBA Governors Cup, Thompson said his support for the Altas will always be there.
“Proud ako sa kanila kahit wala na ako at hindi na naglalaro, every time na may laro sila nanonood ako, maski sa TV. ‘Yung suporta ko sa kanila andito pa rin. ‘Yung dugong Altas ko andito pa rin,” he concluded. – By Jerome Lagunzad
Follow this writer on Twitter: @JLFoxSports