Top Ginebra pick Scottie Thompson absent from first practice - for good reason
Scottie Thompson, Ginebra's top pick at No. 5 overall in the PBA draft, is excused from attending Ginebra practice until the end of the Altas' campaign in the NCAA. Jerome Ascano

SCOTTIE Thompson was absent from Barangay Ginebra’s first official practice on Monday – but for good reason.

He couldn’t have made it even if he wanted to.

After all, the University of Perpetual Help star, who the Gin Kings picked at fifth overall in the draft on Sunday, had Altas practice inside the school’s Las Piñas campus from 7 to 10 a.m.

So it was impossible for him to make it in time for Ginebra’s training session at the CCF gym in Pasig that began at 10 a.m.

More importantly, Gin Kings coach Tim Cone refused to allow the eager Thompson to attend so he could focus on the Altas’ campaign in the NCAA.

“He wanted to come to practice today and I said no,” Cone said. “It’s only fair that we allow him to focus on the NC and Perpetual.”

[See Star fan Scottie Thompson thrilled to play for 'favorite coach' Cone at Ginebra]

The Altas have a game on Thursday.

The rest of the Kings’ picks on Sunday - former University of Santo Tomas standout Aljon Mariano and Denice Villamor of National University - did show up on Monday.

“(Thompson) won’t be here for a while,” Cone said. “But I hope he could come in and watch a few of our practices, just so he could get a feel of what we’re doing.” 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos