BARANGAY Ginebra fans have gone gaga over Earl Scottie Thompson after the rookie's impressive PBA debut on Sunday night.
Fans dispirited after Ginebra's 78-86 loss to the Star Hotshots in the PBA Philippine Cup found a silver lining in the audacious performance of Thompson, who led a late charge that led the Kings back into the game.
A consistent triple-double machine for Perpetual in the NCAA, Thompson wasted no time bringing his act to the pro league as he debuted with five points, six assists, three assists and two steals in 16 minutes off the bench.
No wonder Thompson became a trending topic on the micro-blogging site Twitter shortly after the game.
It turned out it wasn't just fans who were all agog over the former NCAA MVP after the game. Even Ginebra coaches heaped praise on the freshman guard inside the dugout.
"Ang galing pumasa nung bata. Ang taas ng IQ," said one of Tim Cone's lieutenants. "He has a future. Magandang fit siya sa system, partida na hindi pa niya gamay ang sistema."
Thompson only joined Ginebra's practices 10 days ago after finishing his stint with Perpetual in the NCAA, which is very strict when it comes to drafted players joining their PBA teams.
"Hindi siya ganun katagal sa team, pero he made some of his teammates look younger than him sa system. Yan ang kwentuhan sa loob. May ibang praises kay Scottie ang coaching staff ang hindi na sinabi in front of the team. Sila sila na lang," said one Ginebra staffers who requested anonymity.
Cone, meanwhile, was unusually calm after a loss. There were no long sermons from the grand slam coach who merely pointed out some of the mistakes Ginebra made which he blamed to lack of spacing an bad positioning.
"Tim was relaxed and he just emphasized some of the mistakes the players made during the game," said a Ginebra insider. "We committed a lot of turnovers, it's because most of you guys were not in the position you should be.
"We made lots of bad passes, again because some of you are not in the right position," he added.
Cone gave his players two days off and told them to return to practice on Wednesday at the CCF Gym in Ortigas.