By leaving the PBA early, Scottie and Oftana may relax and recuperate before Gilas’s assignment

Feb 26, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – For Scottie and company, elimination from the PBA playoffs early is not entirely a negative thing. In the first round of the Fiba Asia Cup 2025 qualifiers, a few PBA players had the unique chance to relax before playing for Gilas Pilipinas.

Players like Chris Newsome, Jamie Malonzo, Calvin Oftana, and Scottie Thompson found themselves with early exits from the PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs, a situation not entirely under their control. Despite the disappointment of an early elimination, their commitment to their craft remained unwavering. The offseason became a critical period for recalibration, healing, and readiness for the challenges ahead, both with Gilas and their respective PBA teams.

For Scottie Thompson, the winter months served as an opportunity for intensive training, even when his mother ballclub faced an early departure from the playoffs. Thompson’s dedication was particularly evident when he secured a spot in the top 12-man national team roster, a significant honor that highlights his skills and contributions. This recognition solidifies Thompson’s role as a key player in the core of Gilas, marking the beginning of a four-year Fiba cycle.

The offseason, marked by their teams’ early playoff exits, became a crucial juncture for these players. It was a time to not only recuperate physically but also to hone their skills and maintain peak conditions. Despite the disappointment of falling short in the PBA playoffs, their commitment to continuous improvement and dedication to national team duties underscored their resilience and professionalism.

As the offseason unfolded, these players navigated a delicate balance between rest and preparation, understanding the dual roles they play – not only as assets for their PBA teams but also as key contributors to the national team’s aspirations. Their perseverance and commitment, evident in their offseason pursuits, stand as a testament to their passion for the game and their unwavering dedication to representing both club and country at the highest level.

Scottie Thompson is committed to maintaining peak physical condition and continues his rigorous fitness routine even after his team’s early exit from the Commissioner’s Cup semifinals against San Miguel. Despite the disappointment of the playoff defeat, Thompson understands the importance of discipline, recognizing the necessity to consider the next phase of his career and stay in optimal shape. His commitment extends even into vacations, underlining the crucial role of preparedness, especially with the potential opportunity to join Gilas whenever his team concludes its conference journey.

For Larry Muyang, the offseason served as a crucial period for recovery. Having faced injury concerns during the semifinals against San Miguel, there were initial fears of an ACL tear. Fortunately, an MRI dispelled those worries by revealing no structural damage in his knee. Opting for a couple of weeks off, Muyang prioritized rest and comprehensive recovery. Despite the setback, the player who participated in the World Cup but missed the Asian Games due to injury expresses eagerness about his progress, stating that he feels significantly better now.

For Oftana, the offseason presented an opportunity for rejuvenation after TNT’s quarter-final exit in the Commissioner’s Cup. Emphasizing the paramount importance of rest for athletes, he stressed the need for recovery following intense games. Oftana acknowledges the critical role of adequate rest in maintaining overall health, especially with an eye on potential call-ups to the national team, Gilas. Despite the early exit from the competition, Oftana values the chance to have rested sufficiently, recognizing the long-term benefits for his performance and well-being.

Newsome, whose schedule was packed with Meralco’s participation in the EASL and subsequent elimination in the PBA quarterfinals, underscores the significance of managing rest effectively. Juggling between different competitions, Newsome learned to work smart, balancing intense training with essential recovery. As he matures in his career, Newsome draws from the experiences of seasoned players who came before him, emphasizing the importance of body management. For him, the key is to be both available and healthy, ensuring readiness for potential playing opportunities, particularly in anticipation of a call-up to the national team, Gilas.

In the dynamic world of professional basketball, these athletes showcase not only their on-court skills but also the dedication and wisdom required for prolonged success. The offseason becomes a strategic period for healing, recovery, and meticulous preparation for the challenges that lie ahead. Each player’s approach to physical well-being reflects a broader understanding of the demands of the game, the necessity of rest, and the perpetual commitment to staying in prime condition. As these athletes navigate the complex landscape of tournaments and leagues, their resilience and foresight position them not just as players but as ambassadors of a holistic approach to sportsmanship and career longevity.

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