Cone impressed by Thompson’s game: ‘There’s no doubt he’s a special player’

08:07 PM November 28, 2015
Scottie Thompson. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

Scottie Thompson. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/

It didn’t take long for coach Tim Cone to gush over his prized rookie Earl Scottie Thompson.

With an array of mind-boggling passes, the former Perpetual star need not to score much and his playmaking alone is enough earn the two-time Grand Slam-winning coach’s admiration.

“I think I did a lot of that with Johnny,” said Cone, comparing Thompson to his time with PBA great Johnny Abarrientos.

The sequence happened in the final two minutes of the Kings’ game vs Globalport last Wednesday.


Thompson went for a shot which was well covered by Stanley Pringle, but had the presence of mind to make the pass.

“He hung in the air and had the mental fortitude to pass the ball to Greg (Slaughter),” Cone said. Thompson found a streaking Slaughter, who then scored with an undergoal stab 1:58 left in the fourth quarter to finally put the game to rest for Ginebra.

“I cheered more for the pass. He made more than one great pass,” Cone said.

Overall, the seasoned coach was elated with the way Thompson performed on Ginebra’s 85-70 over the Batang Pier.

“Scottie came in and gave us a huge lift with his tremendous passing. He pushed the ball well against their zone, in transition, picked up our tempo a little bit. That was a big difference maker,” he said, as the fifth pick in this year’s draft had two points, two rebounds, and four assists. It may not look as huge based on stats, but Thompson’s presence alone on the floor in the second half was a huge boost for the Gin Kings in the said game.

“Scottie sacrificed that first half, and the whole coaching staff was telling me that I got to play Scottie. We did and he made me look good and made me look stupid at the same time, stupid for not playing him in the first half, and good for going to him in the second,” Cone said.

But Thompson himself downplayed the praise, saying, “Nagkataon lang na pinasok ako. Lagi lang akong ready pag binubunot ako ni coach Tim. Di ako nagsasawa sa ensayo, basta ready lang ako.”

On the contrary, Cone no longer has any doubts with how high the ceiling is for the kid from Digos City. However, he’s just trying to be patient with the way he’s breaking Thompson in to the rigorous style of the PBA.

“There’s no doubt he’s a special player, but he’s a rookie,” Cone said. “He’s young, he’ll have great nights, average nights, and we’re going to try to pick the nights where he is playing great. He had a great night tonight. I hope he’ll be consistent, but consistency comes through time. It doesn’t happen right away, especially with young players.”

And Thompson is smart enough to entrust his future with the Hall of Fame coach.

“Sobrang happy at blessed ako kasi napunta kay coach Tim, lalo na ngayong binibigyan nya ako ng tiwala,” the 22-year-old said. “Kahit konting minuto ang pinapasok nya sa akin, ginagrab ko yun at di ko sinasayang. Sana magtuloy-tuloy. Alam ko naman na si coach Tim alam nya kung paano ang gagawin sa team at kung paano magpasok ng player.”

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