HEIGHT, indeed, is might.
After landing the top overall pick in next month’s PBA Rookie Draft, Barangay Ginebra appeared to have a change of heart and finally leaning toward using the selection to tab big man Gregory Slaughter.
In constant talk with his staff, coach Ato Agustin bared to Spin.ph the team is looking to make the former Ateneo star the year’s No. 1 overall pick in the draft set on November 3 at Robinson’s Place in Manila.
“We might go for Slaughter. Height kasi ang kailangan namin,” said Agustin during the birthday celebration of team governor and outgoing PBA chairman Robert Non on Tuesday.
“Pero hindi pa final 'yun. We’re still evaluating it. Nag-uusap-usap pa kami,” added Agustin.
The Kings initially considered NCAA Most Valuable Player Ian Sangalang for the pick, the 6-foot-7 cabalen of Agustin seen as a perfect fit for the Kings because of his agility and versatility.
[For full story, see Ginebra plans to pick Sangalang over Slaughter - unless Parks changes its plans]
But the Ginebra coach said the team cannot ignore the fact that the Kings need a dominant big man at the post - and that an opportunity to grab a prospect like Slaughter is hard to pass up.
“Kulang talaga kami ng malaki sa Ginebra,” he said.
Agustin’s deputy Jorge Gallent, meanwhile, was more direct to the point.
“Mga 80 percent sure na siguro 'yun,” said Gallent.
Non, for his part, declared that a seven-footer doesn’t come that often in the league, pointing out that Ginebra has not had a dominant big man since the days of Marlou Aquino and Eric Menk.
“When was the last time we had somebody as tall as Greg in the draft? Si EJ Feihl pa. kelan pa yun? 1995. See, that’s 18 years,” said Non.
“Marlou Aquino pa ang last namin na 6-9. Ang tagal-tagal na nun. It’s just right that we don’t let this chance slip away,” added the PBA chairman.
The amiable team official also pointed out that among the current crop of amateur and collegiate players, a big man remains a scarcity.
“The batch of young players is not that tall. So I am afraid it will take another decade for us to see a seven-footer applying for the draft. Hopefully I am wrong,” Non said.
On the other hand, Ginebra zeroing in on Slaughter makes the choices easier for San Mig Coffee governor Rene Pardo.
“That made the decision-making for us easier. At least, dalawa na lang ang titignan namin,” said Pardo, referring to Sangalang and Letran’s Raymund Almazan.
“Those three big men are no pushovers. Certainly they are all expected to dominate this league in the years to come. It’s a no brainer as to the quality of the three big men applying,” he added.