Scottie Thompson on NCAA foreign student-athletes ban

Published August 7, 2020, 9:00 PM

by Jonas Terrado

scottie thompson ginebra
Ginebra star Scottie Thompson (PBA Images)

Scottie Thompson is aware that the NCAA’s decision to ban foreign student athletes beginning Season 96 has its benefits and drawbacks.

The Barangay Ginebra San Miguel star who made a name for himself in the NCAA with University of Perpetual Help said he has mixed opinions about the new policy which has long been a contentious issue in the collegiate ranks.

“Kung walang foreign student athletes sa NCAA, mangingibabaw talaga yung mga locals natin, lalong-lalo na yung mga big man. Talagang angat na angat,” Thompson said during Friday’s episode of The Prospects Pod.

“At the same time, yung negative way naman yung level nila, preparation nila sa PBA, long-term career nila, parang bababa din. Laking tulong sa mga big man na locals na may import kasi preparation nila especially sa PBA,” added Thompson.

Having imports in the country’s oldest collegiate league has been a subject of debate since Nigerian center Sam Ekwe made his debut in 2006 by leading San Beda to its first NCAA title in 28 years.

That triggered the start of the San Beda dynasty that saw the Mendiola campus take home 11 of the last 14 NCAA championships with Ekwe, American Sudan Daniel, Nigerian Ola Adeogun and Cameroonians Arnaud Noah and Donald Tankoua.

Other schools tried but failed to topple the Red Lions when they tap foreigners to beef up their squads during that stretch.

San Sebastian and Letran have successfully beat San Beda in the finals with an all-local lineup, with the Stags winning it all in 2009 and the Knights doing it twice in 2015 and 2019.

Thompson has had the benefit of playing alongside foreign student athletes during the Altas career from 2011 to 2015.

Among them were Nigeria’s Bright Akhuetie, who has since moved to University of the Philippines in the UAAP, and compatriot Prince Eze.