Scottie Thompson's selection reminds Tim Cone of Johnny Abarrientos dilemma in 1993 draft
Scottie Thompson is deluged with requests for photo ops after the PBA Rookie draft, where he was picked by Ginebra at No. 5 overall. Reuben Terrado

BARANGAY Ginebra coach Tim Cone compared the decision to pick Scottie Thompson with the No. 5 pick of this year’s draft to a dilemma he had to go through back in 1993 when he was still with Alaska.

During that draft 22 years ago, Cone had to make a decision whether he will select an outstanding guard named Johnny Abarrientos despite having a heavy guard lineup.

In the end, Cone decided to pick Abarrientos with the third pick overall.

The decision turned out to be a gem as the Far Eastern University guard went on to win the MVP crown three years later, on the same year he helped Alaska complete a historic grand slam.

“We had a lot of guards like Frankie Lim, Eric Altamirano, Ric-Ric Marata. We had a lot of guards. But Johnny was just too good to pass up,” Cone told reporters on Sunday.

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On Sunday, Cone picked Thompson, the reigning MVP of the NCAA who has been putting up stellar numbers including three triple-doubles in Season 91, despite Ginebra's pressing need for a big man.

“We wanted a big man. But Scottie was just special,” said Cone.

Cone is definitely impressed with Thompson, saying that he is perfect for the triangle offense he will be putting in as he enters his first year with the league’s most popular ballclub.

“He is an uncommon talent. Scottie was just too good to pass up,” Cone said.

“He is a two-guard but he can also play the one. That’s the beauty of him. He moves well with the ball and he is also good off the ball. Those are the triangle guys that we look for,” Cone said.

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