While Justin Brownlee, Japeth Aguilar and even Stanley Pringle are the acknowledged key players in Brgy. Ginebra’s recent conquest of Meralco in the 2019 PBA Governors’ Cup Finals, Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone believes that Scottie Thompson was the x-factor in the best-of-seven series that only lasted 5 games.
The 26-year old Thompson, who posted averages of 8.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 5.6 assists per game in the championship round, pieced together 5 straight points in the second half of the title-clinching 5th game which pulled the Gin Kings to within a point, 53-52, before the deadly trio of Brownlee, Aguilar and Pringle took over and powered the crowd darlings to the promised land.
“As big as the numbers Justin made and Stanley made, Scottie’s quiet numbers were really the key to us winning aside from Japeth. If I had to pick a second MVP, I would have picked Scottie,” said Cone.
“I felt he kinda changed the series around in Game Three with his defense against Newsome. He carried it all the way through. Newsome just had his way with us in the first two games but when Scottie picked him up in Game Three, it was a whole new story,” added the now 22-time PBA champion mentor.
Cone disclosed that Thompson’s penchant for doing the ‘intangibles’ is what makes him a special player.
“Just the little things like rebounding, getting out on the break, the passes, being at the right place at the right time, all that stuff doesn’t show up in the stats but they add so much to the overall 48-minute game that you play. I thought Scottie was outstanding this series,” he explained.
“Rudy Hatfield didn’t score a lot of points but we knew the impact he made on the game every timeout, when he was with Ginebra, and when he was with Coca Cola and Scottie is the same way. He makes a huge impact in the game even though it doesn’t show in the stats,” added Cone.