At some point during Gilas’ preparation for the upcoming 2023 FIBA World Cup, it felt as though the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel superstar point guard and reigning PBA Most Valuable Player Scottie Thompson would not be able to return to the lineup because of a hand injury he sustained while in Europe back in early July. 

Fast forward to today, Thompson is back making things happen — positive things — on the floor for Gilas. That was apparent in Gilas’ tuneup game against Team Mexico Monday night. Although the game was neither televised nor streamed, boxscores suggest that Thompson more than held his own against the taller Mexican backcourt. 

Thompson played over 23 minutes and shot 6/11 from the field and 2/2 from the charity stripe for 14 points to go with six rebounds and five assists. It was not all that rosy for Thompson, as he coughed the ball up three times, but it’s safe to say that he surpassed expectations amid his recent injury and the fact that Gilas did not have the luxury of having Jordan Clarkson in that contest.

In any case, Thompson looks 100% healthy and ready to go for the FIBA World Cup 2023. It will be a shock if he doesn’t make the final roster cut given how he has performed before and after his injury and the impact he had on the team during the tuneup contests. Leading Gilas in scoring and rebounds sans Clarkson against a team nine spots higher than the Philippines in the world rankings should have virtually cemented his place in the Gilas 12.

Gilas 2023 FIBA World Cup schedule

Gilas will open their FIBA World Cup campaign with a matchup against Karl-Anthony Towns and the Dominican Republic on Friday at the Philippine Arena. Thompson and company will head back to Manila after that to face Angola on Sunday at the Araneta Coliseum. The final group stage game for Gilas will take place on Aug. 29 (Tuesday) versus Italy, also at the Big Dome.