ALTHOUGH Ginebra was stunned by the abrupt exit of import Josh Powell, Greg Slaughter still liked the idea of working out with the former Kings import at the end of the PBA season this July.
The 6-foot-11 Ginebra rookie big man said just before leaving, Powell, a six-year NBA veteran and a member of two Los Angeles Lakers champion teams, extended an invitation to all the Ginebra players to work out with him in the United States during the offseason.
And given Powell’s championship pedigree and vast NBA experience, Slaughter finds the invitation tempting.
“He invited us (Gin Kings) to work out with him (in the US) but we’ll see. Of course, he’s got experience having played and worked out and won (NBA) championships with Kobe (Bryant) and (former Lakers coach) Phil Jackson,” Slaughter told Spin.ph on Tuesday.
In the short time Powell spent with the team before opting out to take up an offer to join the Houston Rockets' roster, Slaughter said he learned a lot from the former Lakers backup center/forward.
“He sets big picks and he’s done a good job guarding the (Meralco) import (Darnell Jackson),” the former Ateneo slotman said, referring to Powell’s debut game before the All-Star break that saw the Gin Kings score an 88-78 win over the Bolts.
When asked what he thinks about Powell’s reason for leaving the team, last year’s top rookie pick said he believed the 31-year-old former North Carolina State standout didn't want to aggravate his foot injury.
The American did not play in the second half of Sunday’s 78-89 loss to Alaska and ended up scoreless on 0-of-5 shooting in 15 minutes of action.
“It’s just unfortunate that he (Powell) got injured. And maybe, he doesn’t want the injury to get worse,” said the rookie big man, whose team is set to work with its third import this conference in two-time PBA Best Import awardee Gabe Freeman.
Freeman is expected to practice with Ginebra and have his document processed on Wednesday just before the Holy Week break, in time for his debut against Alaska on Easter Sunday.