If Elizabeth Barrett Browning lived in this period, I’m sure she, too, would have asked this beautiful question all women have asked themselves rhetorically at some point: How do I fangirl thee?
Let me count the ways I fangirl this 23-year-old court bae from Davao.
10 Reasons You Gotta Love Ginebra’s Scottie Thompson
10. He’s not shy about being a teleserye fan.
In a society that expects men to pursue only “manly” interests like basketball and DoTA, Scottie has no reservation about declaring his love for local teleseryes. As he succinctly puts it, “Ang tunay na lalaki kinikilig sa Dolce Amore.”
9. He’s one proud boyfie!
Like Steph Curry and his famed ring finger tattoo, Scottie also proudly brings his lady love into his every game by donning Jersey no. 6 to commemorate his and his GF’s anniversary.
8. He’s a self-declared mama’s boy
Scottie also admits he got his love for Pinoy soap operas from his mom. Now, I know Mama’s boys carry a stigma in dating and relationship circles, but as Time points out, these boys grow up to be strong, empathetic spouses. So yay for husband material Scottie!
7. He pays his dues.
Already a triple-double scoring machine in his Altas years, Scottie could have easily bummed out for his bench-riding games at the start of the season. Divas are a dime a dozen in the league.
But the humble rookie played his heart out, regardless if it’s in practices or in real games. His patience paid off– eventually, he earned his coach and teammates’ trust, and in the process, his own rightful place in the starting rotation.
6. Even other teams love him!
During their commentator stints in the Governor’s Cup Finals 2016, premier coaches Alex Compton (Alaska) and Yeng Guiao (NLEX) were vocal about their awe for Scottie’s basketball IQ and omnipresence in the court. During their first and last match-up with Mahindra, Coach Chris Gavina admiringly called Scottie “a whole different animal“. Rookie of the Year 2016 Chris Newsome compliments him for the out-of-this-world rebounds Scottie makes.
Heck, even fans of other teams respect him for what he does on the hardcourt! The worst thing I’ve seen others say about him is that he’s overrated. It’s just *that* hard to hate a guy who respects the ball game enough to live and die for every ball possession.
5. Scottie is fearless
All night long, Scottie had been missing his shots in Game 5 of the Finals versus Meralco. But when he was given the ball, he had no reservation shooting (and making) a three-point basket.
Screw those stats that put his 3-point clip at a very poor 18%. Or that he had not had a single field goal for the past three-fourths of the game. He’ll do what he need to do, even if it may incur the wrath of the arguably emotional Ginebra fandom.
4. Scottie is happy to roll up his sleeves and do the dirty “role player” work
Ginebra is a veritable team of stars, from Gin-eral LA Tenorio to Fast & Furious JayJay and MC47, to twin towers Japeth Aguilar and Greg Slaughter. But what the team lacked were people willing to go under the radar and work their stuff on their opponents.
Scottie happily accepts this role, as shown by his unselfish passes, awe-striking courage to contend with giants in no-man’s land for rebounds, and the amusing hardcourt “acting workshops” he does to draw fouls, often from critical star players of the opposing team.
3. Scottie’s veteran wisdom is beyond his supposed rookie years
Known as the “intangibles”– things that stats don’t tell you about the level of performance a player made that created impact on the game– Scottie’s a virtual maestro of them all.
He dives for loose balls like no one else’s business (except maybe Cliff Hodge and Sean Anthony), knows how to time his movements to secure rebounds (I swear, he’s got a physics computational machine up there in his brain somewhere), and in the process, gets the crowd going to affect the morale of the opposing team.
2. Scottie is the underdog-turned-top dog that we all love to root for
Except for an American last name inherited from his grandpa, Scottie is a full-blooded Pinoy. And even if the odds were against him (he’s from the south, he didn’t get a basketball scholarship anywhere else but from Perpetual, he doesn’t have a famous relative who had played in PBA), he still managed to shine as a player and get drafted by the most popular ball club in the Philippines. He went on to become the 2016 version of the David against all other Goliaths, like how we rooted for Bal David and those mindblowing half-court shots.
And he never. stopped. working. his. ass. off. Even when he made it to the big leagues, he was not complacent. He even made history by duplicating the feat that THE Johnny Abarrientos made decades ago: a triple-double by a local rookie which cannot be pulled off by talent alone. It entails hard work, enormous stamina, presence of mind, and the willingness to pound your shoes on both sides of the court.
In today’s world of instant gratification, Scottie shows us that the most satisfying and meaningful success is one where hard work and self-reliance are involved. What an inspiration to all of us fans!
1. Scottie embodies the oft-touted yet oft-forgotten NSD spirit
Scottie may have originally wanted to play for a different team, but we say he’s perfectly at home with the Gin Kings, particularly with its #NeverSayDie spirit.
Exhibit A: Ginebra vs. NLEX, Governor’s Cup 2016
Q4 started at 74-59, in favor of the Road Warriors. All of their starters are on the benches. Scottie’s the designated PG. At around 10:30 in the game clock, with the lead’s as high as 20, Scottie suddenly tagged-team with Marcelo to try and spark something in the team.
At around 9:40, after a defensive stop, Scottie et al goes to their end of the court. He draws the defense by driving and kicking out passes, but no takers. He shops the ball around, no one wanted to make that basket. Until finally, he must have said to himself, “Screw it, I’ll take this.” And take it, he does!
He brought the team back from the dead– this unassuming, gun-shy rookie– and he re-introduced Jaworski’s brand of #NSD for millennials.
And with tonight’s highly-anticipated, box-office Game 6 match, we know this is but just the start of good things to come for our super rookie. Good luck, Scottie!