Ginebra rookie Scottie Thompson ripe for starting gig, says Tim Cone

Starting this upcoming Governors’ Cup, basketball fans will about to see more of the brilliance of Scottie Thompson as head coach Tim Cone believes his rookie is already locked and loaded to start for the crowd-darling Ginebra San Miguel.

“Scottie is really good, he’s gonna start this conference and he deserves to start. He’s at that point now where I can’t hold him back any longer,” said Cone after their tune-up game victory where Thompson starred against Mahindra Enforcers, 85-69 in the PBA Campus Tour in Arellano University, Friday afternoon.

Coming off a stellar NCAA career where he usually posted triple-double output, Thompson was drafted 5th last year but was not given heavy minutes on a consistent basis off the bench in the last 2 conferences –leaving some fans confused on Cone’s plan for the rookie.

But for the winningest coach in the PBA, the move was all about giving the former Perpetual Help star ample time to adjust in the professional level while learning to play together with other Ginebra key cogs like Greg Slaughter, LA Tenorio, Japeth Aguilar, and Mark Caguioa.

“If we throw him out right away and he does the wrong thing, the veterans might get mad and he might lose confidence, so we try to bring him along a little slowly so he could discover himself,” explained Cone. “That’s why we brought him in the bench for now, so that he can discover and learn that as he goes along.”

In fact, the veteran American coach did the exact same rookie process with now PBA Legend Johnny “Flying A” Abarrientos back in their glorious Alaska days.

“I started Jun Reyes for a couple of conferences then Johnny just couldn’t be denied after a while. And when I finally started Johnny, he never looked back,” he shared.
And just like Abarrientos, Cone is confident that Thompson can be that player who will build on the opportunity and will repay it with great dividends.

“I think the same thing for Scottie, he’s gonna not look back,” he said. “Scottie is on that point that he discovered himself.”

The multi-titled mentor, though, stressed that the fortune of Ginebra in the season-ending conference will not be solely depend on Thompson’s improvement but of everyone.

“Scottie may be the difference maker but everybody else should be able to perform,” Cone closed. – By Jason Mercene

Follow this writer on Twitter: @JasonMercenePH