SCOTTIE Thompson continued to repay coach Tim Cone’s faith as he put up another all-around performance for Ginebra in its 85-72 victory over NLEX in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
Thrust into the starting lineup in his third conference in the league, the rookie playmaker scattered eight points, 12 boards, four assists, and two steals against only one turnover in 28 minutes.
The 6-foot-1 cager even emerged as the top rebounder among Ginebra locals with his 12 boards – seven more than 6-foot-9 Japeth Aguilar and three more than what 6-foot-7 Joe Devance and 6-foot-4 Chris Ellis had combined.
“He’s just doing too many good things on the floor. He needs to start,” Cone said, recalling the time when he was Alaska coach and he also didn’t give Johnny Abarrientos the starting gig in his first couple of conferences as a rookie as he played behind Jun Reyes.
“But eventually, he (Abarrientos) had to take over. He was just too good and valuable. And that’s what’s happening to Scottie,” Cone said.
But the league’s most successful coach has faced a dilemma in also wanting to keep starting veteran point guard LA Tenorio.
“We don’t want to bench LA, so what we’ve done is we’ve made Scottie and LA play together,” Cone explained. “And that has put Scottie in the off guard position, so it’s a little bit of an adjustment. He’s not getting that real point guard feel that he’s used to."
The adjustment has not stopped Thompson from standing out with what Cone termed his 'special skills.'
“But while he adjusts, he just does so many things: you see him rebound,” he added of the former NCAA MVP out of Perpetual Help. “You wonder why he gets triple-doubles in college? Watch him rebound. He’s an incredible rebounder. He’s got special skills.”