PBA: Tim Cone relishes Scottie Thompson-Calvin Oftana Christmas duel | Inquirer Sports

PBA: Tim Cone relishes Scottie Thompson-Calvin Oftana Christmas duel

/ 10:52 PM December 25, 2023

Scottie Thompson Ginebra PBA

Barangay Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson gestures after hitting a 3-pointer against TNT in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Ginebra coach Tim Cone was on the edge of his seat watching Scottie Thompson and TNT’s Calvin Oftana in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup Christmas Day game at Araneta Coliseum on Monday.

While Thompson and the Gin Kings emerged victorious with an 86-78 victory over the Tropang Giga, Cone lauded the head-to-head battle between the Gilas Pilipinas players.


“My take is, if you put Scottie and Calvin in the court park and let them play one-on-one, they’re both going to go at each other to win even though they’re best friends. It’s a sense of competition that goes on. It’s in a bigger stage here because you have teammates but if they’re at the park, they wouldn’t give each other any edge. They’d be trash-talking, hitting and bumping. You can guarantee that,” said Cone.


“People say ‘oh, they’re friends and teammates in the national team so they might give each other a little bit of a back off.’ Nah. Won’t happen. Not these guys at this level. They don’t get this good by being nice guys, they’re gonna go at each other.”

Thompson and Oftana shone for their respective teams anew.

Thompson only had 12 points but he made a couple of crucial triples in the fourth quarter that kept TNT at bay. He also collected seven rebounds and seven assists.

Calvin Oftana TNT PBA


Oftana, meanwhile, tallied a game-high 27 points on top of five rebounds and three steals for the Tropang Giga.

“Down the stretch, I just wanted me and Calvin to be closer in the game,” said Thompson in jest.

“We knew each other more in Gilas and we both wanted to win for our team. We just did our best for our mother teams and after this, we’re still friends. In his last shot, he even hit my head with his elbow,” he added.


Cone, meanwhile, revealed that Thompson took the challenge of defending Oftana in the fourth quarter after the former San Beda star got going.

“He (Thompson) actually asked for him. They’re best buddies from Gilas, they were roommates and they’re really tight. He (Oftana) was getting loose and during a timeout with seven minutes to go, Scottie said, ‘let me have Calvin.’”

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“Obviously, it was a great coaching move by Scottie to do that and he took the challenge down the stretch and Calvin was our target all the way through. He’s having a tremendous All-Star, MVP-like conference right now and he was really our target.”

TAGS: Barangay Ginebra, Calvin Oftana, PBA Commissioner's Cup, Scottie Thompson, Tim Cone, TNT Tropang Giga

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