PBA Philippine Cup

Cone hails Thompson return a ‘breath of fresh air’ as Ginebra wins 3 in a row

Delfin Dioquino

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Cone hails Thompson return a ‘breath of fresh air’ as Ginebra wins 3 in a row

TAKE OVER. Scottie Thompson in action for Barangay Ginebra in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

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Scottie Thompson stuffs the stat sheet and comes through down the stretch to lift Barangay Ginebra past TNT for their third straight win

MANILA, Philippines – The all-around play that Scottie Thompson provides has felt like a “breath of fresh air” for Ginebra.

And that has been evident since he returned from an injury as Thompson steered the Gin Kings to their third straight win in the PBA Philippine Cup by way of an 87-83 victory over TNT at the PhilSports Arena on Friday, April 19.

Thompson stuffed the stat sheet with 17 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks to help Ginebra improve to 6-3 and secure its spot in the quarterfinals.

Also coming through down the stretch, Thompson drained a crucial three-pointer with a minute left that broke an 83-83 tie and gave the Gin Kings just enough separation to fend off the Tropang Giga.

“When Scottie came back, it was like a breath of fresh air. Everything came back with it,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone.

“Suddenly, the ball is whizzing around, we’re getting almost 30 assists a game. He is all over on the rebounds. The effort level that he brings is infectious with everybody else.”

Thompson dealt with back issues and missed the first half of the elimination round as the Gin Kings lost three of their first six games, including a rare defeat to Terrafirma.

But Ginebra has turned its fortunes around since Thompson came back, beating Blackwater, NorthPort, and TNT to climb to third place and stay in the hunt for a top-two finish that merits a win-once bonus in the quarterfinals.

Over those three consecutive wins, Thompson averaged 10.3 points, 9.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists, 3 steals, and 1 block.

“We put a lot of demands on Scottie and he delivers almost consistently, tremendously well all the time. It is very obvious the value he brings to us and how much we need him,” said Cone.

Christian Standhardinger shared the spotlight with Thompson after churning out 20 points, 15 rebounds, and 5 assists, while Japeth Aguilar also put up a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

Ralph Cu added 12 points and 6 rebounds for the Gin Kings, who got the job done despite frittering away a 21-point lead in the first half.

Ginebra tasted its biggest lead of the game at 37-16 off a Sidney Onwubere triple early in the second quarter before the Tropang Giga knotted the score at 41-41 going into the break off a 25-4 run, setting up the tight finish.

Roger Pogoy and Calvin Oftana fired 19 points each for TNT, which saw its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 4-4.

The Scores

Barangay Ginebra 87 – Standhardinger 20, J. Aguilar 20, Thompson 17, Cu 12, Pinto 7, Ahanmisi 6, Onwubere 3, Pringle 2, David 0, Tenorio 0.

TNT 83 – Pogoy 19, Oftana 19, B. Ganuelas-Rosser 12, K.Williams 10, Castro 9, Reyes 5, Montalbo 5, Galinato 4, Aurin 0, Ponferrada 0, Heruela 0, Khobuntin 0.

Quarters: 30-13, 41-41, 63-59, 87-83.

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.