Make that two!
Back in 2012, during his sophomore year with the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA in the NCAA, a 19-year-old Scottie Thompson was heralded as Season 88’s Most Improved Player.
Seven years later, Thompson would win the same award – but this time, at the highest level of competition.
The 6-foot-1 guard from Davao Del Sur has been named the Philippine Basketball Association’s Most Improved Player for Season 43 at the Leo Awards, Sunday at the historic Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Thompson had a remarkable run last season, as he averaged 9.1 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. But his biggest achievement was his coronation as the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup Finals Most Valuable Player.
The 25-year-old posted norms of 10.8 points, 7.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists to help his Barangay Ginebra San Miguel oust defending champions San Miguel Beermen in six games – a feat that also halted SMB’s Grand Slam hopes yet again.
“NCAA nakakuha din ako ng Most Improved. Siguro through hard work sa practices, yung mga pinaghihirapan ko nagpe-pay off. Yun naman mentality ko lagi, hard work lang talaga. Bonus lang yung mga darating na award.
“Thankful kay God kasi nabigyan ako ng ganung pagkakataon na makuha yung award. Pero credit pa rin sa mga coaches, mga teammates ko sa tiwala na binibigay nila sa’kin,” expressed Thompson after their 90-79 win over the TNT KaTropa.
But even if he has gotten the plum, Thompson made it known that he plans to elevate his game further.
“Tina-try ko maging more aggressive sa offense na, sinusubukan ko kanina. So far, medyo hindi pa talaga okay,” said Thompson, who had nine points on 4-of-11 shooting versus TNT, but made up for it with a team-high 10 rebounds.
“Sana throughout the season mas mag-improve pa ako as a player, para makatulong ako sa team.”
Part of his plans to grow even better is becoming more of a leader to his team. Thompson has started already with new ka-Barangay Teytey Teodoro, who made his PBA debut also on Sunday night.
Teodoro and Thompson played against each other in the NCAA back in 2015, with the stocky guard playing for the Jose Rizal University Heavy Bombers under head coach Vergel Meneses, one of the PBA’s all-time greats.
“Medyo naging close din kami ni Teytey kasi NCAA kami eh.
“Lahat ng tanong niya, sinasagot ko rin. Three years na rin ako sa Ginebra, I think may chance na rin ako maka-guide sa mga bagong players namin,” gushed Thompson.
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