ROOKIE center Greg Slaughter rued a health problem, and consequently his game-long struggle, came at the worst time for Barangay Ginebra.
The 6-foot-11 top rookie pick this season took just nine shots and finished with only nine points and nine rebounds as the Kings fell to the San MigMixers, 76-79 in Game Five on Saturday night, putting the league’s crowd darling on the brink of elimination in the PLDT myDSL-PBA Philippine Cup semifinals.
“I had trouble sleeping and I had chills since last night (Friday). And this one’s (Game Five loss) pretty difficult, taking that loss, we have no choice but to win on Monday,” said the young Ginebra big man after the game that left the Kings trailing the best-of-seven series, 2-3.
With Slaughter not 100 percent, backup center Jay-Ar Reyes chipped in 11 points and 11 rebounds - his best performance in the semifinal series - while Chris Ellis provided the scoring punch with a conference-high 20 points.
But the soft-spoken Slaughter said it was tough to play his usual game while being under the weather.
“It was tiring and also trying to push. We’re focusing on trying to get the ball, but it’s just breaks of the game,” lamented Slaughter.
The 25-year-old Slaughter said he’ll be reporting for practice on Sunday, but may just try to preserve his energy for Game Six on Monday, where the Kings facing the specter of bowing out of Finals contention with another win by the Mixers.
“I’ll definitely be there in practice but I don’t know how much I’ll practice that day,” he said. “I don’t think the problem’s really adjustments for us, but it’s just trying to play as a team."