SCOTTIE Thompson’s failure to make the NCAA Finals during his stint with the Perpetual Help Altas inspired him to play his best game in the biggest stage of his young PBA career.
Thompson finished with a career-high 24 points to add to his 15 rebounds and three assists as he proved to be the catalyst in Barangay Ginebra’s rousing 117-92 win over deposed champion San Miguel Beer that arranged a showdown with Meralco for the Governors Cup championship.
The rookie playmaker buried three three-pointers right in the opening period to steer the Kings to an early 33-12 lead which they never relinquished on the way to the blowout win.
Thompson already had 15 markers after the first 12 minutes of play.
“Paglabas ko pa lang ng court bago nung game, positive mind set na talaga ako,” he said afterwards.
But it was his bitter experience in the past that kept him going in pursuit of his team’s first finals appearance in the last three years.
“First time ko sa finals, kasi nung college ako hindi ako nakapag-finals so talagang itong game na ito, I took it as motivation na first time kong mag-finals,” said the 23-year-old do-it-all guard, who won an NCAA MVP award with the Altas in college but never got past the Final Four phase.
Thompson also made the semis in his final season with the school after submitting a triple-double average.
Incidentally, the Ginebra win came just hours after the Altas were eliminated by the top seeded San Beda Red Lions in their own sudden-death game for a berth in the NCAA finals.
Perpetual Help coming short again of making the championship series was also an added motivation for him, according to Thompson.
“Sinasama ko rin sila as motivation ko kasi sayang, guston-gusto ko silang mag-finals para sa Perpetual at para na rin sa alma mater ko,” said the soft-spoken freshman from Davao.