PBA: Thompson's value is 'unquestioned,' says Cone

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 25 2022 06:49 PM

Barangay Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson soars for a rebound against Meralco in Game 6 of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup Finals. PBA Images.
Barangay Ginebra guard Scottie Thompson soars for a rebound against Meralco in Game 6 of the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup Finals. PBA Images.

MANILA, Philippines -- Barangay Ginebra's Scottie Thompson can conclude what has been a truly special season by winning the top individual award in the PBA.

He already owns the Best Player of the Conference trophy for his exploits in the 2021 PBA Governors' Cup, where he was also named Finals MVP following Ginebra's victory over Meralco in the championship series.

Is the season MVP award the next trophy in Thompson's collection? The versatile guard has already downplayed the possibility, saying his focus is on helping Ginebra win more titles. 

"Addicting" was how he described the winning of feeling championships -- something that eluded him as a collegiate player for University of Perpetual Help.

"Noong nakakuha ako ng championship dito, sobrang nakaka-addict," said Thompson, who won MVP honors in the NCAA. "Pag mabigay [ang MVP], thank God. Pero maraming deserving."

His own coach, Tim Cone, echoed Thompson's sentiments that there are other deserving players. TNT rookie Mikey Williams and Magnolia's Calvin Abueva are likely the other candidates for the award; Williams was the Finals MVP when the Tropang GIGA won the All-Filipino title, and Abueva was the BPC of the Philippine Cup.

"We know there's a lot of deserving guys out there," Cone acknowledged.

Yet Cone also noted that Thompson's value -- at least to Barangay Ginebra -- is unquestionable at this point. In the Governors' Cup, he raised his level of play as stakes got higher, getting better as the team progressed in the playoffs.

In the finals, he averaged 17.83 points per game -- second only to import Justin Brownlee -- along with eight rebounds and 5.5 dimes in the six-game series. Thompson showed every facet of his game against the Bolts: he dropped 27 points in Game 4 after receiving his BPC trophy, then nearly had a triple-double in Game 5 when Ginebra seized control of the series. And all throughout, his defense was on point.

"He has been so valuable, for us, because of all the things that he does," said Cone. "He's such a totally complete player in terms of what he does on the floor and what he does off the floor."

"He's a tremendous teammate, he's so easy to coach, he always has been," he added. "You just don't see him off the floor like we do, or in practice, but he's a great teammate."

"He's so incredibly valuable to us, and I think that's the definition of an MVP, how valuable he is to the team, and his value is unquestioned."

Thompson is already a two-time Finals MVP, having also gotten the trophy when Ginebra won the 2018 Commissioner's Cup. He was also part of the Mythical Second Team that year, and won Most Improved Player honors.

But winning the MVP will cement Thompson's status as the "premier all-around player" in the PBA, as Cone declared after their victory in Game 4.

"People are rewarding him not just for being a scorer. They're rewarding him for an all-around game. I think that includes his defense, obviously his rebounding," Cone said at the time. 

"But his ability to keep his teammates involved and make great passes, and then the offense coming on, where he's a threat in and out. The reward was really for an all-around game, not just one guy who shoots a lot and scores a lot of points," he added.

If he emerges as the MVP, Thompson will be the first Ginebra player since Mark Caguioa in the 2011-12 season to win the league's top individual award.