It was a hard-fought battle for the Gin Kings as they went through grueling games against the Meralco Bolts and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters to eventually dethrone the Beermen.
Key players put in the work to capture Ginebra's 11th title in franchise history, third under legendary coach Tim Cone. Of course, there was Greg Slaughter, LA Tenorio, Jeff Chan, and Justin Brownlee. But the finals MVP award went to crowd favorite and ultimately deserving Scottie Thompson, whose unrivaled effort on the boards drew the loudest cheers from the Ginebra fans.
Thompson's extraordinary rebounding numbers as a guard outshined every other stat in every game he played. Not to take anything away from Slaughter and Brownlee specifically, but they're big men and it's expected of them to snatch the ball from the air and bring it down. But Thompson's height didn't matter for him to snatch rebound after rebound.
If you're putting up at least 10 rebounds per game as one of the smallest players on the court, no one is taking that MVP award from you, especially if you snatch it after bouncing off the rim.
It's not always the dirty and scrappy job of rebounding that becomes the factor of convincing the league you're worthy of an MVP award, but Scottie just did.
He told SPIN.ph, “Unang una, yun na talaga ang ginagawa ko, simula nung pagpasok ko sa team. Nakikita ko sa mga fans, sa mga teammates ko, natutuwa sila sa ginawa ko. Tinutuloy tuloy ko. Iniisip ko makakarating din yung scoring ko pero for now, gusto ko lang matulungan yung team.”