FIERCE rivals in college, Greg Slaughter and June Mar Fajardo have yet to step onto the hardwood together since their last title clash in Cebu over three years ago.
Now the two giants will not only be sharing the same court but also find themselves on the same side.
Slaughter, the University of Visayas star who led the Green Lancers to a 3-1 victory over Fajardo and the University of Cebu Webmasters in the 2009 Cesafi title series, is looking forward to the reunion with his longtime rival in Chot Reyes' Gilas Pilipinas pool.
“I didn’t had a chance to play with June Mar. It will be pretty fun experience to finally play with him. After being rivals, we can finally be teammates,” Slaughter said in an interview with Spin.ph just after Reyes formally announced the Gilas Pilipinas lineup.
Slaughter, who moved to Manila after the Cesafi victory and helped lead Ateneo to UAAP titles in 2011 and 2012, is the only amateur player in the star-studded pool announced by Reyes.
Now he's looking forward to playing with some of the country's finest players.
“Definitely, it will be a good experience to be with 16 PBA veterans. Like I said, they are veterans and have experience. It is going to help me also,” added the seven-foot Slaughter.
“Real good team,” Slaughter said. “A lot of pretty experienced players, proven players on this team. It is a really talented team which can cover all aspects.”
The young center understands that he might end up deep in the team’s rotation, with naturalized player Marcus Douthit expected to log most of the minutes for Gilas during the Asian championships. But he expressed his willingness to play his role, even as a bit player.
“I’m real happy to be chosen,” said Slaughter.
The two giants are expected to relive their college battles in Gilas practice, and Slaughter feels it will all be for the good of the team.
“I’ll do everything to help Marcus and June Mar," Slaughter said. "Maybe we can push each other in practice.”