THIS season's top rookie pick Greg Slaughter and No. 4 draft choice James Forrester finally have inked separate three-year, multi-million pacts, completing Barangay Ginebra's massive buildup in what promises to be an exciting season for the league's most popular ballclub.
Sources in Ginebra camp said the 6-11 Slaughter and the 6-1 Forrester will get the maximum three-year deal worth P8.5 million excluding other bonuses after signing on the dotted line on Monday.
A many-time member of the Smart-Gilas and later on, the Gilas cadet national squad, Slaughter easily provides the defensive presence in the middle Ginebra has sorely lacked for years.
Ginebra star Mark Caguioa, for one, believes the presence of Slaughter alone promises an "exciting season" for the league's most popular ballclub and its legion of fans.
"Just his (Slaughter) presence inside, talagang magda-dalawang isip ka when you drive to the basket kasi intimidating," said the one-time PBA MVP.
"Tapos kapag nalagpasan mo siya, nandun naman si Japeth (Aguar) sa likod. I haven't really played in a team like this kaya nga I'm really excited," he added.
The veteran Ginebra guard added that Forrester, an athletic guard out of Arellano University, also adds depth and extra offensive threat to a team that is known for its run-and-gun offense for years.
"I mean yung one and two (first and second units) namin can be starters. So kami ni LA ( Tenorio) tapos, sina JJ (Helterbrand) and Josh (Urbiztondo) then si Eman (Monfort) at James," he said.
"Siguro medyo mahihirapan ng konti si coach Ato (Agustin) dito pero mawawala lang ng konti ang pressure sa amin because this team has a lot of scorers."