Ginebra witnessed the coronation of two Gin Kings as Scottie Thompson and Justin Brownlee were bestowed with the top individual honors of the 2022 PBA Governors’ Cup, Wednesday night at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
The pride of Davao del Sur won his first Best Player of the Conference, while the American cager bagged just his second Best Import award in the rites held prior to Game Four of the Finals between the Barangay and Meralco.
The two have become the first pair of teammates since Jayson Castro and Terrence Jones to sweep the awards of a conference. The TNT tandem accomplished as much in the 2019 Commissioner’s Cup.
Thompson earned the citation via landslide, accumulating a total of 1,128 votes from stats, the media, the players, and the league office.
“First time siya na makuha so malaking bagay sa career ko, pero mas masarap makuha to at makuha rin championship,” said the 28-year-old.
A distant second was Tropang Giga rookie Mikey Williams with 699, followed by the NorthPort duo of Robert Bolick (581) and Arwind Santos (428). Rounding out the five-man race was Phoenix main man Matthew Wright with 416.
Thompson accumulated 35.0 statistical points (SPs) after the semifinals, thanks to his averages of 13.5 points, 9.6 rebounds, and 6.0 assists.
His rise in the SPs race was remarkable. The former NCAA MVP from Perpetual was initially at sixth, but rocketed to no. 2 after the quarterfinals.
Behind that was his strong performances in the said round, where he helped the Barangay wipe out rival TNT’s twice-to-beat advantage.
Thompson’s path to the award became even clearer when the reigning champs reached the Last Dance. He was the lone contender to go that far.
Brownlee, meanwhile, finally has a Governors’ Cup Best Import title to boot after losing to Meralco counterpart Allen Durham in 2016, 2017, and in 2019 despite giving Ginebra the championship in all those times.
The 33-year-old winger has actually won one in the past, but got it in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup against much taller reinforcements. It served as the cherry on top to a campaign that ended with him winning his third PBA crown.
Just like Thompson. Brownlee won the award in lopsided fashion with 1,275 votes. At second was 2018 awardee Mike Harris of Magnolia with 795, followed by Bolts reinforcement Tony Bishop (739) then Cam Clark of NLEX (443).
Aiming to bag home his fifth PBA title, Brownlee rose to the top of the imports’ race with 53.7 SPs by the end of the semis behind his per-game norms of 30.3 points, 11.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.6 blocks.
He is now the 10th import to win the award more than once, joining Bobby Parks (7), Durham, Meralco coach Norman Black, Billy Ray Bates, Derrick Brown, Gabe Freeman, AZ Reid, Jerald Honeycutt, and Kenny Redfield.
— Justine Bacnis (@justinebacnis) April 13, 2022
The Finals are also livestreamed on SMART Sports.