MANILA, Philippines -- Scottie Thompson attempted to downplay his clutch three-pointer that helped Ginebra beat Meralco on Sunday night, but his own head coach would have none of it.
"Nakita ko 'yung shot clock... I think four, three seconds na lang. So nakita ko naka-sag konti si Allein [Maliksi], so tinira ko na lang," Thompson recalled after Ginebra defeated Meralco, 115-110, in Game 5 of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup finals.
The big shot capped a 7-0 blast for the Gin Kings, turning a slim 99-98 lead to a more comfortable 105-97 spread with just a little over two minutes to play.
"Lucky shot," Thompson added.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone, sitting beside him at the Araneta Coliseum press room, was quick to react.
"Lucky?" Cone echoed. "Boo. Boo."
Thompson's three-pointer had swung the momentum in Ginebra's favor for good. Before his shot, Christian Standhardinger made back-to-back buckets, and they forced a stop against Meralco import Tony Bishop.
On their next trip down, LA Tenorio bricked a three-pointer. But Thompson leapt for an offensive rebound and beat Bishop to the board, giving the Gin Kings another opportunity. When Jeff Chan missed, it was Standhardinger who got the board, and Tenorio assisted on Thompson's back-breaking triple.
It was Thompson's third triple of the game in seven tries. He finished a rebound shy of a triple-double, with 19 points, 11 assists, and nine rebounds in nearly 44 minutes of playing time.
Even as he again claimed that his big three-pointer was "lucky," Cone sought to correct his guard.
"That was a pure shot. That went through in so cleanly," said the multi-titled coach. "[There was] no luck involved in that shot."
"That's a lot of hard work that he's put in the gym over the last four, five years, making that shot," he added.
Thompson's progression as a scorer has been crucial to Ginebra's success in the conference. Through 22 games, he is putting up 11.3 points on 48.2% shooting, along with 9.5 rebounds and 6.0 assists per contest.
Ahead of Game 4 of their best-of-7 series, he was awarded the Best Player of the Conference trophy, the first time in his career that he earned the honor.