SCOTTIE Thompson considered it an honor being matched up against a former NBA player in Myles Powell during the just-concluded PBA Commissioner’s Cup Finals between Barangay Ginebra and Bay Area Dragons.
Never mind that he fell prey to Powell’s ankle breaker move during one sequence late in the third quarter of the deciding Game 7 at the Philippine Arena on Sunday night.
“Pinagpag ako. Tinignan ako,” said a smiling Thompson after being ribbed for falling on the floor as he tried to defend Powell who did a crossover, and then stepped back to hit a three-point shot at the 3:43 mark of the third that cut the Kings’ lead to 84-64.
“Pero masarap sa pakiramdam din na masama sa highlights niya.”
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Thompson and the Kings though, had the last laugh as they won the highly-emotional game in dominant fashion, 114-99, and denied the Dragons a piece of PBA history as the first foreign guest team to win a championship since Nicholas Stoodley back in 1980.
Although playing the daunting task of guarding the 6-foot-2 Powell, who played for the Philadelphia 76ers last season, the reigning MVP held his own against the Bay Area import, finishing with 18 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in winning his seventh championship in eight seasons.
He actually got even with Powell a few plays later when he scored on a driving layup against the Dragons’ import to hike Ginebra’s lead to 86-66, then stole the ball from Powell, who was forced to foul in order to stop a clear transition play for the Kings.
It was a sigh of relief for Thompson indeed, when everything was over and done with as Ginebra clinched its 15th franchise championship overall.
“It’s a very tough series, pero nakuha namin. Kaya thankful kami kay God sa panalong ito. Walang ibang credit kundi sa kanya,” said the 29-year-old guard from Davao Del Sur.
But the match-up with Powell was a truly memorable one for Thompson.
“Ang galing. Sobrang honored akong nabantayan siya. Malaking achievement sa career ko guarding Powell,” said the Ginebra guard, who mentioned close friend Nards Pinto as the one who alternated with him in trying to limit the Bay Area import.
“Buti andiyan si Nards at nagpalitan kami,” he added. “Pero sobrang galing, hindi mo ma-stop. Mali-limit mo lang siya. Pero magaling talaga. Wala akong masabi. Magaling.”