FIVE months since his controversial pull out from the Gilas Pilipinas pool, Barangay Ginebra’s Greg Slaughter declared he’s ready to play for flag and country if given the chance to be included again in the national team.
“Absolutely (I want to play for Gilas). I think a lot of people misinterpreted when I pulled out of Gilas (last March), but that’s because they (Gilas players) already established their chemistry. The
Fiba-Asia (men’s championships last year) and this World Cup is just a continuation of that,” said Slaughter, who missed a potential game-tying corner jumper as Ginebra bowed to expansion team Kia Motors in their tune-up match Friday, 73-71.
“I didn’t pull out because I didn’t want to help. But I pulled out because I want to better myself so that in the future, I can contribute more.”
Slaughter was originally part of the 17-man Gilas pool named by coach Chot Reyes, but pulled out of the team a week after together with San Miguel’s Marcio Lassister, a move that obviously didn’t sit well with basketball fans.
The 6-foot-11 Slaughter also praised fellow Cebuano big man June Mar Fajardo’s superlative performance in the world championships, saying the San Miguel Beer slotman “deserves to play in the international stage.”
“Every game he’s (Fajardo) been contributing really hard. They need the big body, and he can match the size that’s been out there, even some teams bigger, like Argentina, they didn’t really have that big
presence, but there’ll be games where he’ll be getting 10 points in like 10 minutes. So I think he proved that he belongs in the international stage,” explained Slaughter, who has had memorable battles with Fajardo during their college days in Cebu.
The youthful Ginebra big man said despite Gilas’ 1-4 win-loss record in the Fiba World Cup, no one can question the heart of the underdog team that nearly beat world no. 3 Argentina, Croatia, and Puerto
Rico during the preliminary round.
“I think they (Gilas players) surprised the whole world on that (their performance in the World Cup). That just goes to show you can’t question the Filipino heart because they went out there, they knew the
odds were against them, and they battled and made it close,” noted Slaughter.
“Some of the games went to overtime, like the one against Croatia. That’s just one possession and a couple of free throws or something. But they’re right there, they are looking very good, putting the
Philippines in the map worldwide, so we have nowhere to go but up.”
Slaughter has been working out wither said he’s been working out with American trainer Kirk Colier for close to two months already in a serious offseason training as he tries to get better to help the Kings put an end to their six-year PBA title drought.