MANILA, Philippines – If Tim Cone could choose another Finals MVP in the PBA Governors' Cup, it would be Scottie Thompson.
Cone lauded Thompson for doing it all on both ends for Barangay Ginebra as they disposed off Meralco in 5 games to win their third Governors' Cup championship for the third time in the last 4 seasons.
Thompson normed 8.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.6 steals in the finals, capturing his fourth PBA crown with the Gin Kings.
Although his numbers did not stand out as much as those of Japeth Aguilar, who had 17.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks to win Finals MVP, Cone said Thompson was also deserving of the award.
"I thought Scottie's quiet numbers were really the key to us winning aside from Japeth's. I mean if I had to pick a second MVP, I would have picked Scottie," Cone said after the title-clinching 105-93 win.
Cone said Thompson had the biggest impact on defense, particularly on Bolts' athletic guard Chris Newsome.
"I felt he kind of changed the series around in Game 3 with his defense against Newsome and he carried it all the way through," Cone said.
"Newsome just had his way with us in the first two games but once Scottie picked him up in Game 3, it was a whole new story."
Utilizing his combination of size and athleticism, Newsome averaged 20.5 points, 6.0 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in the first two games and continued his stellar showing in Game 3 with 20 first-half points.
But Thompson and Ginebra contained Newsome to 4 points for the rest of Game 3 and just 12.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in Games 4 and 5.
"And then just the little things [we] needed: the rebounding, the getting out the break, you know, the passes, being in the right place at the right time," the winningest PBA coach added of Thompson.
"I thought Scottie was just absolutely outstanding this series."
Cone likened Thompson to former Gin Kings big man Rudy Hatfield for his contributions that often get overlooked.
"Rudy didn't score a lot of points, but we know the impact he made on the game every time out when he was with Ginebra and when he's with Coca Cola. And Scottie, he's the same way," Cone said.
"He makes a huge impact in every game, even though it doesn't show up on the stats every time." – Rappler.com
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.