LUCENA - One could say it’s beginner’s luck, but it was definitely more than that for Greg Slaughter on Friday night.
The fit-again Ginebra slotman made a solid debut in the finals, living up to expectations as the Gin Kings’ sixth man in their 102-87 win over Meralco in Game One of the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
In his first finals appearance, Slaughter hardly showed jitters as he registered 14 points on 5-of-13 shooting, eight rebounds, two blocks, and only on turnover in 21 minutes off the bench.
“I didn't feel too much pressure,” the 6-11 slotman said. “We played a good team game today, played good team defense. Everyone chipped in and did their part.”
“I'm just glad we got the win. It's kinda tough, you got a long ride home, just glad we're coming back with a win,” he added ahead of Game Two on Sunday night back at the Big Dome.
It’s understandable to feel relief as Slaughter and the rest of Gin Kings’ frontline still saw Allen Durham wreak havoc as the reigning Best Import still filled the stats sheet with 27 points, 14 boards, seven assists, two steals, and one block, almost having to carry the misfiring Bolts by his lonesome.
“He [Durham] makes them run,” Slaughter said. “Anytime we can make him work hard for his points and rebounds, that's big plus for us.”
Fortunately for the Gin Kings, the Bolts were off target from the long range, making just eight of their 34 three-point attempts for 24 percent and 34-of-86 shots overall.
“They're a great three-point shooting team, they were kind of off today,” Slaughter said. “We can't expect them to be off every game. We gotta keep their shooters in check.”
“We'll see with coach Tim [for adjustments],” he added. “We only got one day to turn around, the good thing about winning is they [Meralco] are the ones that have to adjust to us. We can improve on our game plan, but being up gives us the advantage.”