GREG Slaughter finally lived up to his tag as the Best Player of the Conference as he held the fort in a rare start for Barangay Ginebra in its 85-74 win over Meralco in Game Six of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals
Since receiving the top individual award for the season-ending conference before Game Two of the series, the star slotman had averaged just seven points on 38.1-percent shooting, 4.7 boards, along with 1.7 blocks in 26.7 minutes off the bench.
But the 7-foot center finally asserted his might in Game Five where he registered 17 points, although he made just five of his 19 shots for a 26.3-percent clip, on top of 16 rebounds, six blocks, one assist, and just one turnover as a first-time starter this series.
“Coach gave me the start and I didn't want to disappoint him or my teammates,” Slaughter said. “This is a crucial one for us so just fortunate that we got the win.”
Slaughter scored seven points in the first half, before saving his best for last by adding eight points in the final frame where the Gin Kings finished off the Bolts.
“Definitely when you start, you gotta set the tone early,” Slaughter said. “Not just me but the whole starting unit, we came out really aggressive, got off to a good lead.”
And Slaughter got his numbers even if he was not a primary option of offense.
“Flow of the game lang yun,” LA Tenorio said of Slaughter’s offense. “Actually, kung mapapansin niyo how Greg gets the ball, it’s really from the weak side. We’re not giving him the ball right away, so I think that’s the key for this game. And then he came out really aggressive also. He did his role for today.”
Gin Kings coach Tim Cone welcomed not just the improved numbers, but the Slaughter’s energy that sparked the rest of the team.
“He wasn’t making all of his shots, but he was aggressive and physical and going after rebounds and that’s a big difference-maker for us,” Cone said. “And when he could do that, that changes the game for us.”