ROOKIE big man Greg Slaughter believes Air21’s ageless center Asi Taulava is still the yardstick by which big men in the PBA today are measured.
“Every time I go up against him (Taulava), it’s always nice to always put myself to the test against him because he’s one of the best in the PBA,” Slaughter said shortly after helping Ginebra score an 84-76 victory over Air21 Tuesday night to maintain its unblemished record in the PBA Governors Cup.
The 6-foot-11 Ginebra freshman said he knew entering the game that he will have his hands full defending the 15-year veteran, who, at 41, continues to dish off big numbers for the Express.
“I know my hands will be full tonight. Asi has been doing it for so many years in the PBA. He’s experienced,” said Slaughter after the game that saw him finish with 12 points, 15 rebounds, and two blocks in 35 minutes of play.
Despite their hard court battles this season, Slaughter considers Taulava his “big brother,” recalling the time he learned some moves from the many-time All-Star center during their days with the Smart Gilas team of Rajko Toroman.
“He’s always been like a big brother to me, teaching me from the time we were in Gilas,” recalled the 26-year-old former Ateneo center.
While the Kings remain the lone unbeaten team in the season-ending conference, Slaughter said every game remains a learning experience as the team tries to grow under new coach Jeffrey Cariaso.
“It’s (win over Air21) a big confidence booster. They (Express) played us really well the first time we were pressured coming with our triangle. Every game is always a learning experience for us,” he added.
Ginebra has a few days to prepare for its highly-anticipated match on Sunday against San Mig Super Coffee, which will also mark the first time Cariaso is facing his former team.