TOP rookie pick Greg Slaughter wasn't out to prove anything to former college coach Norman Black when Barangay Ginebra beat Talk `N Text in Sunday’s main game of the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The 6-foot-11 Slaughter said he played with fire in his eyes against the Texters owing to his eagerness to bounce back from the Kings’ embarrassing 87-100 loss to undermanned Meralco Bolts where he was held to seven points and six rebounds.
Against Talk `N Text, Slaughter said the Ginebra coaching staff devised a game plan that would force the Tropang Texters’ penetrators straight toward him and the high-leaping Japeth Aguilar.
“We had a plan to funnel their penetration towards the big guys so Japeth and I combined for I think 10 blocks,” recalled the former Ateneo star center. “We also contributed offensively and took advantage of our size.”
Slaughter banged in 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Talk `N Text.
The soft-spoken rookie said his familiarity with Black’s system has nothing to do with him regaining his confidence, but more on simply following what the team talked about during its preparation against Talk `N Text.
“Not really (about being familiar with Black’s system). We just played more our style rather than adjust. The only adjustment was to try to funnel them (Texters) to the (Ginebra) big guys,” he said. “Good thing other guys stepped up today.”
Aguilar, Slaughter’s frontcourt partner, recovered from a bad first half by pouring 19 of his team-high 21 points in the second half.
His booming triple in front of the Ginebra bench with 1.1 seconds to play gave the Kings a 97-95 lead, before he preserved the win by leaping high to block Ranidel de Ocampo’s game-tying basket at the buzzer.
For Slaughter, the win against the Texters is just another step in the team's bid to end its five-year league title drought.
“We wanted to bounce back from our loss in our last game. So this win was a morale booster. Hopefully, we can carry this on to our next game against Barako (Bull),” he added.