Certified MVP Scottie vows to step up his game to help Ginebra.

Scottie Thompson (in red) continues his rise for Barangay Ginebra.  - August Dela Cruz

Scottie Thompson (in red) continues his rise for Barangay Ginebra. – August Dela Cruz

Scottie Thompson has amassed quite the basketball resume at the age of 29.

The tireless playmaker has been a national team fixture, seven-time PBA champion, two-time conference player of the year and Finals Most Valuable Player (MVP) and, most importantly, a season MVP.

Thompson also recently featured in two of the club’s extraordinary titles. He was among the crowd darlings’ run for the 2020 Philippine Cup crown and was key to the Gin Kings’ recent Commissioner’s Cup championship.

“I’ve achieved so many special milestones. I feel like I’m special!” he said laughingly to the inquirer in Filipino. “It feels good. Winning a championship always feels special.

“You know once you win, there’s nothing else you can do but help your team win more. It’s addictive,” he said.

Thompson knows that sustaining such an “addiction” requires a certain lifestyle. And he’s willing to do whatever it takes to be able to do that.

“I know I have a lot of work to do on my game. I think I’m still far away. [my best]. I need to improve, especially on offense,” he said.

Thompson’s journey to a perfect form resumes on Feb. 5, when Ginebra begins its Governors Cup title defense.

His first hurdle, interestingly enough, is Rain or Shine, coached by Ying Guo for whom the Digos City native once played in Gilas.

“I’m not surprised. [with how he is now]. Even then, when he was with me at Gilas, I knew that at some point he would improve his game and get better,” the fiery Giao said in a separate interview with the Inquirer. “I’m not surprised that he Now there’s the MVP.”

“I told him on the way back that if he could work on his outside shot, he could really be a great asset,” Giao recalled. “He’s improved it massively.”

There was no moment that better showcased Thompson’s shooting touch than Ginebra’s playoff run at the 2020 All-Filipino Showcase. Using his improved shooting, he led the Jin Kings past Meralco in the Final Four decider, and then against TNT in the final.

“I remember him telling him… if he can complete his game with three-point shooting, he’s going to be very difficult to defend,” Giao said, shaking his head. “I’m not sure if I blame myself for how difficult he’s become to defend.” Guiao feels Thompson has little left to polish.

“My guess is from here — of course, you don’t stop improving your skills. I think it’s just his decision-making and maturity now. That’s where his growth is headed.”

Thompson said he is always ready to change his game.

“I think if there’s only one thing that will never change, that’s my best performance,” he said. INQ

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