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PBA: Big shoes to fill for Scottie

Scottie Thompson (PBA Images)

Scottie Thompson (PBA Images)

by Jerome Lagunzad

Earl Scottie Thompson concedes that he will have big shoes to fill following the retirement of one-time Most Valuable Player Jayjay Helterbrand.

“Very sad and at the same time, nakakapanibago lalo sa practice na wala na si Kuya Jay. Siyempre nag-a-adjust pa rin kami,” said the 24-year-old Thompson who was selected fifth overall in the PBA Rookie Draft in 2015.

The six-foot-one Thompson said Helterbrand’s leadership would be sorely missed.

“‘Yung leadership niya, lalo sa aming mga bago, ‘yun ang malaking nawala,” he said. “Everytime kasi sa practice, kung paano niya kami pinu-push, mga advices na binibigay niya rin sa amin not only on the court but also in life, malaking tulong talaga.”

A pride of Padada, Davao del Sur. Thompson said he’s ready to take a bigger role for Barangay Ginebra when the league’s 43rd season kicks off with the Philippine Cup on Dec. 17.

The former Perpetual Help star said he considers himself fortunate to have played alongside Helterbrand.

“Sobrang lucky, sobrang blessed na naabutan ko pa siya at nasaksihan ko kung paano niya pinaghirapan lahat ng mga iniwan niyang memories sa Ginebra. God-fearing rin kasi siya kaya mami-miss talaga siya ng Ginebra fans,” he said.

Thompson could still vividly recall the vintage performance of Helterbrand during Game 4 of the Governors Cup finals last year against Meralco.

“Sabi ko na lang talaga ‘Wow!’ kasi ‘yun ang naging game-turning point ng championship,” he said, recalling Helterbrand’s heroics that helped the Kings complete a come-from-behind 88-86 win over the Bolts.

Ginebra went on to win its first title in eight years, according to Thompson.