F GILAS-ables: Scottie Thompson - Powcast Sports

GILAS-ables: Scottie Thompson

“GILAS-ables” is a series of articles that will discuss different players who could make a case for joining the Gilas pool. This series will include Filipinos and Fil-foreign players plying their trade in different leagues, including the US NCAA and the PBA.

In the third article in this series, we’ll talk about a player whose inclusion was made more plausible by the entry of another, much more hyped young player into the Gilas pool.

Name: Thompson, Earl Scottie
Team: Barangay Ginebra Gin Kings
Height: 6’ 1”
Weight: 180 lbs
College: University of Perpetual Help

4.9 points per game, 2.8 rebounds per game, 2.7 assists per game, .1.4 turnovers per game

NCAA MVP (2014)

Again, if you look at the numbers, there is no way that Scottie Thompson would be considered for a spot in the Gilas. After all, 5 points, 3 assists and 3 rebounds are barely even PBA starter numbers, much less numbers of one of the 12 best Filipino players available.

But with college phenom Kiefer Ravena joining the Gilas pool, suddenly, a door has been opened for Thompson to make a similar mark. And that’s because when you think about Thompson’s attributes with regards to Gilas’ needs, the story becomes very interesting.

How? Let’s take a look.

Currently entrenched in the Gilas starting point guard spot is the acknowledged best point guard in Asia, Jayson Castro. Castro is a muscular, cat-quick guard who is equally dangerous shooting the long ball and penetrating inside. The other candidates for the PG spots are veteran LA Tenorio and rising star  Terence Romeo.

LA Tenorio is a masterful court general but is woefully undersized and lacks a defensive presence. Terence Romeo is a tweener, whose size and training puts him at the PG spot but whose talent and inclination make him more suited as a shooting guard.

And that’s where Scottie Thompson has the advantage. Although a deadly scorer with the Perpetual Help Altas, Thompson has proven time and again that he is more than that. At a hefty 6’1”, he’s as much a playmaker and ball distributor as he is a willing rebounder and defender.  And with players like Andray Blatche, Junemar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Japeth Aguilar and Jeff Chan potentially on the team, scoring will never be a problem but someone needs to make sure each of them get their touches at just the right time and spots.

Thompson has also exhibited a gigantic fighting heart, as he has led the Gin Kings in a couple of heart thumping comeback wins, ironically,  with Tenorio cheering from the sidelines.  More importantly, he did it but making sure the Ginebra machine buckled down on defense and revved up on offense.

Ironically, the players that pose the greatest stumbling blocks to Thompson’s inclusion aren’t point guards either, but three combo guards with point guard skills. First and foremost is the Lakers’ Jordan Clarkson, who not only should be a lock at the shooting guard position but may also be the best point guard on the team. Another is Rain Or Shine’s Paul Lee, who is basically who Thompson will be in about 3-4 more years. And the third is the aforementioned Kiefer Ravena, who is the superior talent but is also a tweener, like Romeo, and whose greatest skill is scoring, something Gilas does not need.

That being said, Thompson would need to help lead Barangay Ginebra into a historic year before he would be considered for a spot in Gilas. But if they can open the door for Ravena, who has yet to play a PBA game, they can open that same door to a heady court who may provide the answer to a crucial Gilas need.

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