Mabuhay! Pilipinas Basketball Republic
Count it as back-to-back triumphs for the People’s Basketball Republic, with Barangay Ginebra’s spectacular conquest of mighty San Miguel Beer in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at Mall of Asia Arena on Wednesday.
Ginebra’s big title triumph was a dramatic follow-up to the great win scored by Philippine basketball itself after the country was able to rejoin the Asian Games basketball tournament, thanks to a timely push from the government.
Two in a row, twin triumphs, magic, the twin victories were fully savored after Barangay Ginebra, the people’s team, made it back to the top by capturing its first PBA Commissioner’s Cup in 21 years. It was Ginebra’s 11th crown overall in the PBA.
There were many factors, but what easily stood out was the ascendance of the high-leaping silent worker Scottie Thompson to full stardom.
He was awarded the Finals Most Valuable Player plum.
Thompson, 25, was a one-man marvel army.
Lifetime barangay chair Bobby Jaworski was absent, there was not much of the fabled Ginebra fight-back, but coach Tim Cone was apt in singling out Thompson as a real gem in the championship.
“He was incredible, never has a downtime,” said the supremely elated Cone, who won his 21st PBA title.
Cone relied much on Thompson—12 rebounds, 13 points, 5 assists—in his successful bid to avoid a Game 7 in the title playoffs.
Cone said Thompson wholly typified the great Ginebra never-say-die spirit.
He would gallantly soar time and again to pluck big rebounds off the ears of opposing team giants.
There were ready comments on how Thompson would surely end up among the PBA all-time greats.
As expected, suggestions came to try and include Thompson in the national team that leaves next week for the Asian Games campaign in Indonesia.
Thompson cannot be better than NBA man Jordan Clarkson, whom they’re trying to squeeze into the Philippine national team.
Of course, Thompson could serve a lot better than the oldest PH member, who’s fast shaping up as the most jaded Gilas national team mascot.
(SAYONARA, MAYOR AL: This is a salute and farewell to a great man, former Dagupan City Mayor Alipio F. Fernandez Jr. A treasured friend, the well-admired Fernandez, 75, passed on at the Medical City on Aug. 9. From veteran news correspondent Jun Velasco: “Sayonara, to a good friend. He was former immigration commissioner, former DILG Usec., former executive of Landoil Philippines and director of Clark International Airport Corp.” Fernandez served as Dagupan City mayor from 1992 to 2010. His body lies in state at Casa Fernandez inside Ciudad Elmina in Dagupan. Interment will be on Tuesday at Eternal Gardens, Dagupan City.)
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.