PBA draft stakes raised as Slaughter bares plan to turn pro next season
Former Ateneo star Greg Slaughter should be a shoo-in at No. 1 pick overall if he pushes through with his plans to join the PBA rookie draft in November. Jerome Ascano

SEVEN-FOOTER Gregory Slaughter has bared plans to join the PBA draft this year, raising the stakes in what should be another bumper crop of rookies in November.

Speaking to Spin.ph, the Cebuano slotman said he is now in the process of wrapping up business with his studies at Ateneo and his commitment with the Gilas Pilipinas team before making the next step in his career.

“I am working on that (PBA career). I am looking at my next steps, I’m done playing here (in the collegiate leagues). So that’s the next goal, right?” said Slaughter, the starting center of an Ateneo team that won a fifth straight UAAP title.

So excited is Slaughter to embark on a pro career that he said if the draft takes place now, he will surely be in the pool.

However, he hinted that things may still change depending on his stint with Gilas.

“Nothing is written in stone in yet. But I hope to decide on it soon. I still have three more semesters in school,” said the political science student, who hopes to emulate fellow Atenean Noy Baclao and earn his degree while playing in the PBA.

“I’m still trying to finish up school now, and at the same time I need to move on with my career. I can’t be idle most of the time,” Slaughter said.

If Slaughter pushes through with his plan to turn pro next season, the rookie pool should be alluring among teams bound to have lottery picks in the November 3 drafting. Also expected to be a top pick is former San Sebastian star Ian Sangalang.

Although the draft positions would only be known at the end of the Governors’ Cup in October, Spin.ph has learned that among the teams with a shot at Slaughter are Barako Bull (three first-round picks), Barangay Ginebra (first-round pick from Air 21), San Mig Coffee (from Barako Bull), and Global Port.

In the meantime, Slaughter, who is not playing for the NLEX Road Warriors in the D-League this conference, said his focus is on the Gilas buildup for the Fiba-Asia championships as he bids to land one of the 12 spots in Chot Reyes' lineup.

“It’s really exciting, Gilas is lots of fun and you know it’s gonna be a lot exciting if I’m in it,” he said.

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