By Olmin Leyba
THE do-it-all-guard largely considered as the “new face of Barangay Ginebra” is also the top dog of the entire league.
Gin Kings star Scottie Thompson formalized his new-found status by hoisting the coveted Season 46 Most Valuable Player (MVP) trophy to loud applause from fans and peers alike during Sunday’s Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Leo Awards.
Mr. Thompson, the first guard since Ginebra great Mark Caguiao won the plum in Season 37, said this achievement should serve as an example of how a role player like himself can make it big through persistence.
The top individual plum put the cherry on top of Mr. Thompson’s memorable 2021-22 season that saw him cop the Best Player of the Conference and Finals MVP plums plus the championship in the Governors’ Cup.
The former NCAA MVP from Perpetual Help piled up 2,836 points from stats and votes from players, media and the PBA to beat TnT’s Mikey Williams (1,332), NorthPort’s Robert Bolick (1,295) and Magnolia’s Calvin Abueva (10,66) for the Leo Trophy.
He was joined in the Mythical First Team by Messrs. Williams, Abueva, six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer (SMB) and NorthPort’s Arwind Santos.
Mr. Bolick headlined the Mythical Second Team with SMB’s CJ Perez, Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger, Phoenix’s Matthew Wright, and Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang.
Mr. Williams, meanwhile, was feted as Rookie of the Year while Juami Tiongson of Terrafirma received the Most Improved Player accolade.
Meralco’s Cliff Hodge, Santos, TnT’s Kelly Williams, Magnolia’s Jio Jalalon, and SMB’s Chris Ross composed the All-Defensive Team while NLEX’s Kevin Alas was handed the Sportsmanship Award during the hour-long ceremonies preceding the Season 47 opening.