SCOTTIE Thompson solidified his status as the new face of Barangay Ginebra with a performance for the ages in yet another chapter in the franchise's fabled 'Never Say Die' dictum. As the defending Governors' Cup champions faced elimination owing to a twice-to-win disadvantage, Thompson poured it all and led the Kings' amazing climb to clinch a berth in the best-of-five semifinals.
The do-it-all guard was simply everywhere with his near triple-double average in two do-or-die games for the sixth-seeded Gin Kings against no. 3 TNT Tropang Giga in their quarterfinals series.
Thompson tallied a superb all-around numbers of 20.0 points on an efficient 14-of-27 clip, 12.5 rebounds, and 8.5 assists in two games to earn the hands down choice as the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week for the period March 16 to 19.
The former NCAA MVP from Perpetual University uncorked a 23-15-8 stats line on top of two blocks in Game 1, where Ginebra turned it up late to forge a knockout match against the favored Tropang Giga behind a 104-92 win.
A day later, he was an assist shy of a triple-double with 17 points, 10 rebounds, and nine dimes plus two steals in the Kings' ran away with a 115-95 victory to eliminate the Tropang Giga and march on to the Final Four.
The versatile Thompson did his thing while also being the primary defender against TNT rookie ace Mikey Williams.
But more than that, it served as a payback for Ginebra after exiting early in the Philippine Cup quarterfinals with the same twice-to-win handicap against No. 1 seed and eventual champion TNT.
For Thompson, it was also a redemption, too.
"Ako personally, nasa utak ko motivated ako coming into this series kasi last bubble wala ako nun," said the Ginebra guard, who missed the quarterfinals of the all-Filipino playoffs in Bacolor, Pampanga after being placed in the league's health protocols.
"Hindi ako nakalaro ng quarterfinals noon, yun ang extra motivation sa akin coming to this series."
Thompson and the Gin Kings will shift their focus on NLEX starting this Wednesday in Game 1 of the best-of-five semis.(PBA)
(Photo credits to: PBA)