Scottie Thompson leaving PBA stars in the shade in first wave of All-Star votes
The initial wave of PBA All-Star votes is a testament to Scottie Thompson's popularity. Jerome Ascano

SCOTTIE Thompson has made a name for himself in the PBA in so short a time.

The third-year Barangay Ginebra player emerged No. 1 after the initial balloting for the coming PBA All-Star week, a testament to the spoft-spoken guard's growing popularity. 

The University of Perpetual Help alumnus gathered a total of 17,851 votes from online (17,573) and venue (278) ballots combined during the initial voting cutoff for the May 23 to 27 mid-season spectacle.

Thompson bested celebrated players such as Terrence Romeo, Calvin Abueva, June Mar Fajardo, Kiefer Ravena, Japeth Aguilar, LA Tenorio, and even veterans James Yap,  Mark Caguioa, and Marc Pingris.

Thompson, who thanked the fans for making him their top choice,  emerged as the No. 1 player voted to lead Mindanao team against Gilas Pilipinas as they battle each other on May 23 in Davao Del Sur.

The cutoff for voting came before the start of the semis and resumes during the eliminations of the Commissioner’s Cup.

Fajardo, the four-time MVP from San Miguel, received the second most number of votes with 17,498 as the fans’ top choice for the Visayas selection that will meet the national team as well in the final leg on May 27 in Iloilo City.

Magnolia Pambansang Manok guard Mark Barroca is also out to prove topping last year’s All-Star balloting was no fluke after emerging at No. 3 in fans vote with 17,377 to join Thompson in the Mindanao team.

The 35-year-old Yap of Rain or Shine, likewise showed he remains popular with the fans after amassing 17,006 votes for fourth place and second best behind Fajardo in the Visayas squad.

Ravena, the NLEX rookie, is making a strong case of being the next face of the PBA behind his strong 14,550 votes behind Fajardo and Yap in the same Visayas selection. A native of Iloilo, the former two-time UAAP MVP from Ateneo is the only rookie to make the Top 10 of all three selection teams.

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Over in Luzon, it’s Barangay Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar who shows the way with 11,692 votes, ahead of Alaska’s Abueva (10,083) as they spearhead the team’s campaign against Gilas on May 25 in Batangas City.

The top five players who get the most number of votes in each team will make the starting unit, while the rest will be selected by the respective coaches.

The league recently released the result of the Top 10 players voted by fans in each of the three teams from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

For Luzon, Aguilar (11,692), Abueva (10,083), Marc Pingris (8,553), LA Tenorio (7,051), Paul Lee (6,880), Jayson Castro (6,566), Mark Caguioa (5,550), Alex Cabagnot (5,129), Marcio Lassiter (5,093), and Arwind Santos (4,972).

Over in Visayas, Fajardo (17,498), Yap (17,006), Ravena (14,550), Greg Slaughter (11,665), Terrence Romeo (11,052), Joe Devance (8,341), Roger Pogoy (7,467), Jeff Chan (7,386), Chris Ross (6,413), and Aldrech Ramos (4,352).

And down in Mindanao, Thompson (17,851), Barroca (17,377), Jio Jalalon (14,368), Peter June Simon (13,596), Mac Belo (12,192), Jaypee Erram (8,342), Baser Amer (7,526), Rafi Reavis (7,331), Cyrus Baguio (7,269), and Sonny Thoss (6,395). 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos