Monday, August 24, 2015
Tim Cone sees Scottie Thompson as 'the future' of Barangay Ginebra
University of Perpetual Help's do-it-all guard Scottie Thompson was simply "too good to pass up" in the 2015 PBA Rookie Draft, according to Ginebra head coach Tim Cone who selected the Alta with the fifth pick.
Thompson, the NCAA Season 90 Most Valuable Player who has led the Altas to a 7-2 record so far in the tournament, was showered with cheers by the crowd at the Robinson's Place Manila when his name was called on Sunday.
Other highly touted players were still available at that point, including leading NCAA MVP candidate Arthur dela Cruz of San Beda College and former De La Salle University big man Norbert Torres.
Speaking to Richard Dy of philstar.com after the draft, Cone admitted that they were deciding between Thompson and Torres but opted to go for the versatile guard.
"I think he's an uncommon talent," Cone told Dy of Thompson, who has already registered three triple-doubles this season for Perpetual Help and is currently averaging 14.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 8.9 assists per game.
"We debated between him and Norbert, but we just felt Scottie is too good to pass up. We like to get a big man, but Scottie was just too special," he added.
Cone compared their selection of Thompson to taking legendary point guard Johnny Abarrientos with the third overall pick for Alaska in 1993, even though their team already had a bevy of guards at the time.
"Johnny was just too good, and we couldn't let him go. So we did the same thing with Scottie," said Cone.
Thompson, who also named NCAA Player of the Week after battling injuries to power Perpetual Help over Jose Rizal University, said he is already looking forward in front of the huge Ginebra gallery.
"I'll give my best lang para sa team, and lalo na sa crowd," he said in a television interview after being selected. "Sana 'di ko sila mabigo, at makatulong ako sa team."
Thompson is expected to battle for minutes with veteran guards LA Tenorio, Mark Caguioa and Jay-jay Helterbrand, along with Sol Mercado, Josh Urbiztondo, and Emman Monfort.
"Sobrang excited ako, at thankful kasi feeling ko, sobrang dami ko matututunan sa mga mentor ko ngayon sa Ginebra," he said.
Thompson is still set to finish his collegiate career with the Altas but Cone expects great things from him once he joins the Gin Kings, even telling Dy that the 22-year-old player will be "the future" of the Ginebra franchise.