Philippine basketball

Scottie Thompson claims maiden PBA MVP, Mikey Williams bags top rookie honors

Delfin Dioquino
Scottie Thompson claims maiden PBA MVP, Mikey Williams bags top rookie honors

TOP PLAYER. Scottie Thompson cements his status as a bona fide PBA star.

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Barangay Ginebra star Scottie Thompson captures his first PBA MVP award after a sensational season that saw him win Best Player of the Conference, Finals MVP, and a championship

MANILA, Philippines – Scottie Thompson capped a banner season with the highest individual honor of his career as he bagged his first PBA Most Valuable Player plum.

The Barangay Ginebra guard bested TNT ace Mikey Williams for the coveted award given during the PBA Leo Awards that served as prelude to the 47th season opening at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, June 5.

Further establishing his status as a bona fide PBA star, Thompson claimed his maiden Best Player of the Conference plum after a superb run in the Governors’ Cup.

In the same conference, Thompson led the Gin Kings to their fourth Governors’ Cup championship in six years with his second Finals MVP trophy to boot.

Thompson averaged 13.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.2 steals for the 2021-2022 season as he rebounded from a frustrating Philippine Cup stint that saw him sit out their last couple of games due to health and safety protocols.

On the other hand, the status quo remained for Williams as he settled for another runner-up finish despite bagging the Finals MVP when he powered the Tropang Giga to the All-Filipino crown.

Williams also wound up second in the BPC race in both the Philippine Cup and Governors’ Cup.

The other MVP contenders included NorthPort’s Robert Bolick and Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva.

Abueva nailed the BPC award in the All-Filipino tournament and towed the Hotshots to the finals, while Bolick topped the season in statistical points, although the Batang Pier failed to make it past the quarterfinals.

But Thompson separated himself from the pack as he is the only player in the past season to win BPC, Finals MVP, and a championship.

He is the first Ginebra player and first guard to bag the MVP honors since Mark Caguioa achieved the feat in the 2011-2012 season.

Thompson also made the Mythical First Team for the first time in his career together with Williams, Abueva, San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, and NorthPort’s Arwind Santos.

Meanwhile, Bolick bannered the Mythical Second Team that also featured San Miguel’s CJ Perez, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright, Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger, and Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang.

Top rookie

Despite falling short several times the past season, Williams proved to be the clear-cut winner for the Rookie of the Year award.

Williams normed 19.5 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 4.4 assists as he beat out fellow PBA newcomers Jamie Malonzo (NorthPort), Santi Santillan and Andrei Caracut (Rain or Shine), and Jerrick Ahanmisi (Magnolia) in landslide fashion.

Terrafirma’s Juami Tiongson clinched the Most Improved Player trophy, while NLEX’s Kevin Alas captured the Sportsmanship Award.

Completing the list of awardees were the All-Defensive team of Santos, Meralco’s Cliff Hodge, TNT’s Kelly Williams, Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon, and San Miguel’s Chris Ross. – Rappler.com

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.