ONE bad offensive game should not prevent Earl Thompson from capturing the MVP award in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
Perpetual Help coach Aric del Rosario made this clear after his prized ward fired blanks in the Altas’ 82-79 overtime loss to Jose Rizal University in their playoff for the No. 3 seeding on Friday at The Arena in San Juan.
Thompson, the leading MVP candidate who ended the eliminations averaging 17.4 points, tallied just five markers on 2-of-10 shooting and committed five turnovers, although he registered nine rebounds as the Altas wound up as the fourth seed team going to the Final Four.
But Del Rosario believes Thompson remains poised to win the top individual plum in Season 90 after being hobbled by a back injury last year.
“Deserving si Scott,” said the veteran mentor, whose stint as college coach has already produced countless PBA stars. “Kung last year, walang pinakita, ngayon na-prove niya na meron pa pala siyang ibubuga.”
The pride of Digos City also ended the elimination round with averages of 11.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.7 steals.
“Yung last year hindi ko siya nakita, ngayon marami tayong nakita sa kanya: sa depensa, sa shooting,” said Del Rosario, who still wants to see the official statistical points tally before congratulating his player.
“Gusto ko makita muna yung stats,” he said. “Ayaw ko naman yung mapipili siya pero hindi karapat-dapat maging MVP. Ayaw ko ‘yun. Kailangan yung player ko, may pruweba na siya talaga dapat.”