Even Scottie Thompson has high hopes for University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in the NCAA.
Thompson, who played for the Altas from 2011 to 2015 and whose jersey no. 6 was retired by the school, saw first hand the crop of talents the Perpetual had during their campaign in the NCAA Season 99 where he served as the team manager.
Even though they fell just short of a Final Four spot, the Barangay Ginebra guard raved about the future of the youth-laden squad.
"Looking forward ako sa future nila, hindi lang dito sa season na ‘to natatapos," Thompson told GMA News Online in an interview.
"Looking forward ako talaga sa future ng Perpetual lalo na ‘yung mga batang ‘to ‘yung ine-expect na mag-lead sa mga susunod na seasons."
(I am looking forward for their future, not only with this season. I'm looking forward to the future of Perpetual especially these young players taking over soon.)
With only veteran guard Jielo Razon and Jasper Cuevas graduating, Perpetual is expected to have an intact core come the NCAA's centennial season next year.
The Las Piñas crew will be bannered by young guns Cyrus Nitura, Jun Roque, Christian Pagaran, Mark Denver Omega, and Joey Barcuma as the wards of head coach Myk Saguiguit look to build on their 10-8 finish this season.
"Actually marami [ang impressive players] kasi nakikita ko sila on and off the court eh so nakaka-bond ko sila off the court, sa team building, so halos lahat naman. Pero for me, ang na-impress talaga ako ay kay JP Boral lalo na sa practices, hindi lang sa games, at saka si [Christian] Pagaran at si Jun [Roque]," Thompson added.
(Actually, a lot, because I also see them on and off the court, I get to bond with them, in our team building, so I am impressed with almost everyone. But for me, I'm really impressed with JP Boral, especially in practices, not just in the games, also with Pagaran and Jun."
Thompson also expressed pride on coming in full circle with Perpetual.
The 30-year-old Gin King started making a name for himself during his college days with Perpetual, which saw him bag the Most Valuable Award plum in 2014 and Most Improved Player honors in 2012. He was also a three-time Mythical Five member, bagging the recognition in 2012, 2014, and 2015.
Amidst his successful run in the professional ranks, the 6-foot-1 ace decided to return to his alma mater to help groom the next generation's stars.
"Nung tinawagan ako ng Perpetual to help the team, especially alma mater ko, ang sarap lang sa pakiramdam na mabalikan ulit at makatulong sa team," Thompson added.
"'Yung bahay ko near lang din sa Perpetual so every time after ng practice if may time ako, dumadaan ako sa mga practices and ang main goal ko is makausap ‘yung mga player, ‘yung mga bata to motivate them at bigyan sila ng ideas para mabuo ‘yung kumpiyansa."
(When Perpetual called me up to help the team, I was elated because I can return and help the team. Our house is near Perpetual so every time after practice and if I have the time, I check on their practices and my goal is to talk to the players and motivate them, give them ideas so they can build their confidence.)
—JKC, GMA Integrated News