IN Greg they trust.
Proof that the Barangay Ginebra Kings have invested a big part of their future to the broad shoulders of Greg Slaughter, team management signed the young center to a fresh contract despite just having undergone surgery this offseason to repair a torn ACL injury.
The 6-11 Slaughter confirmed to SPIN.ph the new three-year deal given to him by the very same franchise which made him the No.1 overall pick in the 2013 Rookie Draft.
“Yeah, I renewed so I’ll be staying with Ginebra,” said the former Ateneo starting center.
The recently concluded season had been a tough one for the 28-year-old native of Ohio who underwent ankle and knee operations in a five-month span which forced him to miss suiting up for Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament and for Ginebra in the PBA Governors Cup.
Slaughter was actually playing his first game for the Kings coming off an ankle surgery when he unfortunately, suffered the ACL injury after falling on his own against Mahindra late in the elimination round of the season-ending conference.
Notwithstanding the health issues, Ginebra stuck with their hurting big man and rewarded him with a brand new contract.
The fourth-year pro appreciated everything and expressed how grateful he is to both Ginebra and the San Miguel Corp. group.
“I’m just very fortunate to have management like Boss Al (Chua), Boss Robert (Non), and of course, Boss RSA (Ramon S. Ang). They really make me feel welcome here, and they make me really feel confident securing my position,” said Slaughter, who also expressed his gratitude to coach Tim Cone for staying patient with him.
Slaughter admitted being a little bit bothered by his situation especially with his original three-year, maximum contract expiring. It didn’t help any the Kings finally ended an eight-year title drought by beating the Meralco Bolts in the Governors Cup finals with him sitting on the bench.
But management obviously has big plans for him and showed its faith in the big man by offering him a new three-year deal.
“There’s a lot going to my mind at the time of my injury,” Slaughter disclosed. “But they’ve all done a really good job and make me really feel secure and confident with my position in this team.”
At the moment, Slaughter continues to undergo therapy to strengthen his injured knee which was operated on by renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Canlas.
The surgery, according to him, went very well.
“Now it’s just time to rehab, relearn, and strengthen my body and make sure that I don’t get injured again,” said the man they called ‘Gregzilla.’
But he’s yet to practice with the Kings, nor does he joins them in any physical activities. At the most, Slaughter projects himself returning to action late in the Commissioner’s Cup or early in the Governors Cup, making him miss the entire season-opening all-Filipino conference.
Despite his ongoing recovery from ACL injury, Slaughter remains upbeat in what should be a brand new start for him at Ginebra.
“This first year I’ll just really try to get back on my feet and continue where we started last conference by winning the championship,” he said.
Before going, Slaughter was asked if the new contract he signed was another max deal.
His reply: “Secret,” said Slaughter with a laugh and then promptly excused himself.