Philippine basketball

Scottie Thompson says MVP win proof basketball not just about talent

Delfin Dioquino
Scottie Thompson says MVP win proof basketball not just about talent

BEST FIVE. Scottie Thompson (center) leads the Mythical First Team that features (from left) Mikey Williams (represented by teammate Kelly Williams), Arwind Santos, June Mar Fajardo, and Calvin Abueva.

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Barangay Ginebra star Scottie Thompson ranks last in statistics among the top four PBA MVP contenders but captures the award in runaway fashion

MANILA, Philippines – Scottie Thompson has come a long way from Barangay Ginebra role player to one of the biggest PBA superstars.

Thompson added another feather in his cap as he captured his first PBA Most Valuable Player plum following a banner year that saw him step out of the shadows of his more decorated teammates.

“From the start of my career here at Ginebra, I was just a role player. Through hard work and discipline, I think I can inspire the youth that basketball is not just about talent,” Thompson said in a mix of Filipino and English.

“As long as you have a heart for the game, you’re disciplined, you work hard, and you have faith in God, winning this award is not a long shot.”

Thompson did not exactly post eye-popping numbers in the 2021-2022 season as he averaged 13.9 points, 9.0 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.2 steals.

In fact, Thompson ranked last in statistics among the four MVP contenders, with NorthPort ace Robert Bolick leading the pack followed by TNT guard Mikey Williams and Magnolia forward Calvin Abueva.

But what Thompson lacked in numbers, he made up for in intangibles as proven by him winning Best Player of the Conference, Finals MVP, and a championship – the only player to do so last season.

“Everything feels so fast. I’m just in the early stage of my career but I already won this. For sure, not all players are given this kind of opportunity,” said Thompson.

Thompson, though, knows his MVP award comes with great responsibility now that he is being groomed as the Gin Kings’ next leader, especially with veterans Joe Devance and Mark Caguioa bidding the team goodbye.

Devance recently announced his retirement from the PBA, while Caguioa – at least according to Ginebra head coach Tim Cone – also hung up his spurs.

“I think as a player, I need to mature more. I need to be able to lead the team,” Thompson said.

“My career does not stop here. I’m always a student of the game. I cannot be contended. I need to work harder. My work is not just for me but for the team.” – 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.