Reigning MVP Scottie Thompson was feted with the Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps Player of the Week honors for the October 19 to 23 period after Ginebra handed arch-rival Magnolia its first defeat in their PBA Commissioner’s Cup game held Sunday, October 23, at the Mall of Asia (MOA) Arena.
Crowd darling Ginebra improved to a 3-2 win-loss card while Magnolia’s unbeaten record has been tainted with a 5-1 mark amid 12, 087 screaming fans who came to watch the latest installment of the Manila Clasico series.
The PBA Cignal Play-PBA Press Corps, in a statement, cited Thompson’s superb efficiency at +17, with 14 points on a 50-percent shooting clip, four boards, six assists, and a steal in his 28-minute of action.
It was an epic comeback for the Gin Kings who demolished the Hotshots for the first time since the Commissioner’s Cup in 2019.
Scottie Thompson shined
Thompson, who hails from Digos City, bested Rain or Shine rookie Gian Mamuyac and Converge’s Aljun Melecio for the weekly honor given by sports media practitioners covering the PBA beat.
The Gin Kings were not short of heroes in Sunday’s come-from-behind victory, but Thompson outshined the rest even as Tim Cone was reminded of the great Robert Jaworski Sr. who is the heart-and-soul and father of Ginebra’s never-say-die spirit.
“I grew up watching Sonny Jaworski in the old Toyota days and early Ginebra days. I’ve never seen someone bring back a team like Sonny Jaworski except tonight when Scottie brought us back,” Cone said. “That was really Jaworski-like tonight.”
Thompson’s heroics was highlighted by the big basket in the final five minutes, capping Ginebra’s crucial rally and seizing a 95-93 advantage before resident import Justin Brownlee made the finishing touches to seal the win.
His defensive stands at the clutch against Magnolia’s formidable backcourt earned him Cone’s huge praises.
Compliments from the coach
His hustle and sheer heart to resurrect the Kings from the grave stood out the most for the PBA’s winningest coach.
Cone said, “That was really Jaworski-like tonight. I’m honest. That was what I was thinking the whole game. I was watching Sonny Jaworski’s barreling drives, and the rebounds. It was really a tribute to Sonny tonight.”
He also said that the typical ‘never-say-die’ Ginebra game from the 1990s came to life that Sunday night.
The Hotshots were looking for their sixth straight victory following a 15-point advantage in the third period. But the Kings proved to be no pushovers as they fought back fiercely to stay alive.
The Gin Kings’ huge fightback triumph is what Barangay Ginebra is known for. From underdogs to becoming victors, they delivered the message clearly. Never mind if that win against Magnolia came only after three years.
What matters the most for the Gin Kings is that they have beaten their perennial tormentor, Hotshots.