With big man Greg Slaughter in injured bay anew, Ginebra rookie guard Scottie Thompson is ready to rise to the occasion.
While the six-foot Thompson had to go against bigger players, the rookie guard has been churning out big man-like numbers as of late without Slaughter, who is expected to be out for the remainder of the season after initial MRI results reveal possible ACL tear on his right knee.
The 6-foot-1 guard came out with a double-double effort against Mahindra on Friday, tallying 12 points, on top of his 12 rebounds, drawing praise from head coach Tim Cone and fans alike.
The rookie guard out of Perpetual Help currently averages 7.9 boards per game, the best rebounding norm among PBA guards and the second-best rebounder in the team this conference behind import Justin Brownlee.
“Dinadaan ko lang sa sipag. Kasi yun naman yung mako-contribute ko sa team, yung mga little things, ginagawa ko lang,” Thompson told FOX Sports.
The six-foot PBA freshman also points to the team’s stronger chemistry and familiarity to Cone’s system as reasons why he’s improved a lot after two conferences.
“Medyo kabisado na talaga namin (Cone’s system), hindi na kami nalilito, alam na namin kung paano gumalaw,” he said, whose team tangles with Phoenix on Wednesday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo.
But the former NCAA MVP is quick to admit that filling the big shoes of Slaughter will be harder, especially with the playoffs set to start soon.
“Kumbaga sa crucial time, pag wala na kaming mapuntahan, sa kanya (Slaughter) kami pupunta. So malaking kawalan talaga,” he added.
Nonetheless, Thompson said the Gin Kings will have to approach their last two games in the eliminations with a playoff mentality.
“Kailangan maglaro kami na playoffs na, sasanayin namin yung sarili namin na parang playoffs na para alam na namin gagawin namin,” he said. – Jason Mercene
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