Former NCAA MVP and Gilas Pilipinas stalwart Scottie Thompson was present to witness the Perpetual Junior Altas’ emphatic comeback win against the Letran Squires to force a do-or-die game three in the NCAA Season 99 juniors basketball.

Perpetual was trailing in most part of the game before finding their groove in the second half.

“Sobrang proud kami as Perpetualite… finals na to, talagang lumaban sila… they showed ‘never say die’ spirit,” Thompson said to GMA Regional TV News.

The Junior Altas are playing in the finals of the NCAA juniors basketball history for the first time in 40 years. The team’s best finish was third place 13 years ago.

“Nakita nila kung gaano kahalaga yung game na ito so yun yung motivation nila… nakita ko yung body language nila, hindi sila na down kahit down sila nung first half,” Thompson shared.

The Digos, Davao del Sur native also could not deny the adjustments made by the Junior Altas coaching staff to get back to the ball game in the second half and pull off with the victory.

“Nakakita sila ng light sa second half so ayun nagtuloy-tuloy… credits rin syempre kay Coach Joph [Cleopas] at sa coaching staff sa adjustments nila sa second half,” he said.

Although the Junior Altas still have a game left to come out with the title against the Squires, they pretty much made sure to leave their NCAA legend impressed with their Cinderella run and inspiring performance, especially NCAA Season 99 juniors basketball MVP Amiel Acido.

“Si [Amiel] Acido talagang nabibilib kami, beteranong-beterano maglaro, si [Mark] Gojo Cruz, actually ngayong napanuod ko yung game nila, lahat sila napabilib kami, sobrang proud as a kuya.”

Thompson played for Perpetual from 2011 to 2015 under the late coach Aric Del Rosario and

He led the Altas to three straight NCAA Final Four appearances, and was adjudged MVP of Season 88 before his jersey was retired by the Las Piñas-based school in 2023.