Without his old time partner Jayjay Helterband on the court, Ginebra veteran star Mark Caguioa found rookie Scottie Thompson as a perfect substitute.
Thompson kicked off his first semifinal appearance as a pro, scoring inside, grabbing rebounds and more importantly, setting up his teammates in transition.
In fact, in two separates instances, the six-foot guard out of Perpetual Help found a willing recipient in Caguioa as Thompson served as one of the unsung heroes in Ginebra’s 115-108 Game 1 victory against San Miguel on Monday.
“Noong una, hinahanap ko siya (Caguioa). Every time na nandoon si kuya Mark, sinasabihan nya lang ako na i-drive at andoon lang sya sa ilalim,” shared Thompson, who flirted with a triple-double after finishing with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the series-opening game of the Governors Cup semifinals.
In just his third conference, Thompson has already earned trust of the 2011 PBA MVP, who shared how he used to run the fastbreak with Helterbrand during their prime with Ginebra.
“(Sabi niya) ganun din kami dati ni Jayjay,” he added.
But Thompson said his solid outing in Game One of the semifinals wouldn’t have happened if not for the veteran mentors, who guided him.
“Kahit sinong kasabay ko na beterano, Mark, Sol (Mercado), LA (Tenorio) o Jayjay, kinakausap nila ako sa game at mino-motivate nila ako para mag-jell kami sa game,” said a grateful Thompson.
“Yung motivation ng mga beterano sa akin, yung tiwala, yun ang nagdadala kaya gumaganda ang laro ko.”
“Yun yung nangyari ng fourth quarter. Nagkakaintindihan at nagkakaamuyan kami sa court sa transition,” he added.
The Davao del Sur native, however, isn’t contented with what he has reached thus far in his young career.
“Hindi pa ako satisfied kasi sabi ni coach Tim, kung naglaro kami ng maganda ngayon, dapat next game maganda pa rin,” he said. – Jason Mercene
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