Barangay Ginebra’s title-defense run in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup just suffered another major blow at the worst possible time as do-it-all guard Scottie Thompson has been quarantined due to health and safety protocols on Wednesday, September 22.
The Gin Kings, already missing star forward Japeth Aguilar due to an MCL strain, will have to play without Thompson in their final game against the second-ranked Meralco Bolts on Thursday, September 23, 2 pm.
“If there is time, we hope to get Scottie back for the playoffs,” head coach Tim Cone said in a text message after confirming his ward’s status.
Unfortunately for Cone and the Kings, a playoff spot is not even a guarantee at this point as they are sitting precariously at eighth place with a 4-6 record, behind 5-5 NorthPort and NLEX.
A loss against the Bolts, who in turn are reactivating veterans Chris Newsome and Cliff Hodge for Thursday’s game, will possibly put Ginebra in a four-way tie at 4-7 with Phoenix, Terrafirma, and Alaska before quotients are computed.
But if the Aces win their back-to-back slate on top of a Ginebra loss to Meralco, then the defending champions will automatically be eliminated alongside Phoenix and Terrafirma, while NLEX, NorthPort, and Alaska complete the last three playoff seeds.
Regardless of what happens with the standings moving forward, the only thing certain right now is Ginebra’s climb back to the top just got steeper with Thompson’s exit. – Rappler.com