IF GIVEN the chance, newly-minted National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Most Valuable Player Earl Scottie Thompson of the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta would at the snap of a finger trade his harvest of individual awards for an NCAA title. His Altas ended their season last October 15 by bowing to defending champion San Beda College Red Lions in the Final Four, 81-75.
After electrifying the statistics sheets during the eliminations, the pride of Digos City in Davao del Sur turned the NCAA Awards into his own show in between games last October 20 at the Mall of Asia Arena. Aside from the MVP plum, Thompson locked up spots in the Mythical Five and All-Defensive Team.
His numbers have been no less than amazing – 17.1 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.5 assists – not bad for a 6’0” shooting guard. Along the way, Thompson registered a pair of triple-doubles.
With Season 90 already in the books for Perpetual Help, the 21-year old Thompson looks forward to Season 91 where he hopes to help his Altas to bounce back big time and finally bring the NCAA trophy to Las Pinas City. A pair of tall and beefy exchange students from Africa in Akhuete Bright and Prince Eze will complete their residency in order to be eligible plus several promising members of their farm team will be elevated to make up for the graduation of stalwarts Justine Matthew Alano, Joel Jolangcob Juneric Baloria and Harold Arboleda.
Believe it or not, Thompson was not in the radar of Metro Manila schools while he was in high school at the Agro Industrial Foundation College in Davao City. He had an earlier offer to join the powerhouse San Beda Red Cubs but declined.
It was only Perpetual Help that showed interest in him for its college team. However, Thompson enrolled late hence forcing him to sit out his first year as a fresh high school graduate.
Philippine basketball is a small world indeed. His stint with the Red Cubs did not push through but Thompson will now unite with the core of the Red Lions at Hapee Toothpaste in the coming PBA D-League Aspirants Cup beginning October 27 at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
Things are definitely looking up for the young man whose name was inspired by basketball superstar Scottie Pippen. Thompson’s father was a big Chicago Bulls fan and his son was born on July 12, 1993, a few weeks after the team garnered its third consecutive NBA World Championship.
Joining Thompson in the Mythical Five were teammate Arboleda, Ola Adeogun of San Beda, Bradwyn Guinto of San Sebastian and Jiovani Jalalon of Arellano. The other members of the All-Defensive Team were Adeogun, Guinto, Abdul Razak Abdulwahab of Jose Rizal and eventual Defensive Player of the Year Joseph Gabyani of Lyceum.
Arellano’s Dioncee Holts got the nod as Rookie of the Year while teammate Jalalon was named as Most Improved Player. Season 90 host Jose Rizal University received the Sportsmanship Award.
Meanwhile, Jose Rizal’s Darius Estrella headlined the Juniors Division honorees as the season’s Most Valuable Player along with Rookie of the Year Raphael Jose Chavez of Perpetual Help. Comprising the Mythical Five were Estrella, Ricci Paolo Rivero and John Winifred Gob of La Salle Green Hills, Niko Angelo Abatayo of San Beda-Rizal and Dennel Jay Aguirre of Malayan High School of Science.
The 6’5” Gob, easily one of the top college prospects for next year, also took home Defensive Player of the Year and Most Improved Player honors. The All-Defensive Team was made up of Estrella, Gob, Abatayo, Chavez and Makki Jamdee Santos of Lyceum-Cavite. The Red Cubs received the Sportsmanship Award.