MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra head coach Tim Cone is used to seeing Scottie Thompson rack up numbers every game day, having mentored the multi-faceted guard for more than two years now.
But on Monday, March 5, the winningest PBA tactician couldn't help but revel at how Thompson willed Ginebra to an 88-80 win over the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in their best-of-3 quarterfinals clash.
Thompson was all over the floor against the Elasto Painters as he finished with 14 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists to anchor Ginebra closer to the 2018 Philippine Cup semifinals.
"I thought Scottie was phenomenal all game long, hit big shots, hit big rebounds, defended extremely well," said Cone.
Without star center Greg Slaughter, Ginebra needed someone to help its big men crash the boards. And crash the boards Thompson did.
The 6-foot-1 was the only player from both teams to reach double-figures in rebounding. He had more rebounds than fellow starters Japeth Aguilar (9) and Joe Devance (4) combined.
"He was shockingly good. I mean, he's always good, but he was shockingly good today. And he kind of epitomizes what we hope that we are as a team in terms of that hardwork and desire," said Cone.
"He epitomizes what we do and I just want to mention him because he was special tonight. He's special all the time but he was extra special tonight."
Thompson, who averaged 11.2 points, 11.2 rebounds, 5.7 assists and 1.7 steals in the elimination round to emerge at 7th place in the statistical points (SPs) standings with 32.3 SPs, said he just did what Cone asked of him.
Ginebra is a win away from reaching the PH Cup semis and Scottie Thompson is a big reason why. He had 14 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists in Ginebra’s 88-80 win over Rain or Shine in Game 1 of their best-of-3 quarterfinals series. #PBA2018 @RapplerSports pic.twitter.com/0S1IwQKuyL — delfin dioquino (@dioquinodelfin) March 5, 2018
"We know this is a tough game. Talagang bakbakan 'to. Dinoble ko lang 'yung sipag ko. Buti okay 'yung result."
(We know this is a tough game. This is nip-and-tuck series. I just doubled my hardwork. Fortunately, the results were okay.)
Thompson and Ginebra will try to keep the series from going the distance when they meet Rain or Shine in Game 2 on Wednesday, March 7, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
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.