With Barangay Ginebra’s long-time stars Mark Caguioa and Jayjay Helterbrand already heading towards the tailend of their illustrious PBA careers, rookie Scottie Thompson wants to savor every moment he has with the Kings’ veteran leaders.
Thompson said he values every pointer he gets from Ginebra’s famed “Fast and Furious” backcourt combo, a reason why he lends his ears to them in practice and during games.
And it helps that Ginebra’s starting playmaker LA Tenorio is also there to guide rookies like him in the rudiments of coach Tim Cone’s triangle offense.
“Iyung mga nagtuturo sa akin si kuya LA, si Kuya Mark at kuya JJ, sila talaga nagme-mentor sa aming mga rookies,” Thompson told FOX Sports.
And unlike last conference when he still feels butterflies on his stomach whenever Cone inserts him into the game, this time around, he has started to settle down.
“Nung unang conference, kapag pinapasok ako may kaba pa, pero ngayon, mas ready na ako saka excited na ako maglaro,” added Ginebra’s fifth overall pick in last year’s PBA Draft.
Thompson, the former NCAA MVP, averages 4.6 points 2.7 rebounds and 2.6 assists in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The PBA Finals remain an uphill climb for the Kings, but the former Perpetual Help standout said everyone moves with fluidity by now as far as the “triangle” is concerned.
“Iyung triangle ni coach Tim, halos lahat kami gamay na namin yung galaw kaya mas maganda conference namin ngayon,” explained the 23-year-old rookie from Digos City, Davao. “Sana tuloy tuloy ang winning namin para papunta sa Finals.”
Ginebra, currently at joint 3rd with Alaska and Rain or Shine, closes out its elimination round assignment against league leader Meralco (8-2) on Wednesday. — By Richard Dy