Altas are 3-0 because of best friends Thompson and Dagangon

Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jul 07, 2015 08:07 PM
Altas are 3-0 because of best friends Thompson and Dagangon
LONG-TIME PARTNERSHIP. Scottie Thompson's beautiful pass that led to Gab Dagangon's go-ahead basket was of no surprise to either as both have been teammates since high school.

Down 78-79 in the last minute and in danger of losing their first game in the NCAA 91 Men’s Basketball Tournament, University of Perpetual Help told reigning MVP Scottie Thompson to show the way to victory.

Thompson was more than willing to oblige, but true to his self, served as playmaker rather than scorer. The reigning MVP made his way down the lane and got crowded by defenders before sending a beautiful wraparound pass Gab Dagangon’s way which the latter threw up for the go-ahead basket.

Half a minute later, the Altas were wrapping up their third victory in as many games with Thompson ending one point shy of a triple-double and Dagangon having 16 points to his name.

More than having two versatile players capable of making and completing plays, the Altas’ secret is apparently a bond that was formed years before either even set foot in Las Pinas. “Magkasama na kami ni Scott nung high school pa lang kami,” Dagangon shared with ABS-CBN Sports.

He then added, “Parehas kaming (star) dati, pero siya talaga yung playmaker namin kasi ganyan na talaga laro niya. Ako naman, pulot-pulot lang at naghihintay ng galing sa kanya.”

After being recruited by Perpetual, Thompson recommended to management that his former high school teammate be reunited with him. It took a couple more years before complications were ironed out, but Dagangon was finally able to try out for the Altas in 2013.

Recalling what advice Thompson gave him then, Dagangon said, “Sabi niya, ‘Magsipag ka lang.’ Kasi tryout lang naman yun at wala pang assurance. Nagsipag lang din ako. Buti pinagpala naman.”

Once he set foot in Metro Manila, the 22-year-old said that his period of adjustment was made much easier because of the former high school teammate he referred to as “best friend.” “Nakakapanibago kasi iba yung salita, Tagalog, e Bisaya ako. Buti na lang kasama ko lagi si Scott kaya nababawasan yung hirap,” he said.

Until now, the bond between the two products from Davao del Sur keeps getting stronger as they remain roommates in the team dorm. Talking about their activities outside the court, Dagangon told ABS-CBN Sports, “Kulitan sa dorm. Tambay sa labas. Kain dito, kain dun.”

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