GREG Slaughter is reminding Troy Rosario and Moala Tautuaa to brace themselves for a tough grind in their maiden year in the PBA.
While acknowledging the two amateur standouts are virtually assured of hearing their names being called first or second in the draft proceedings on Sunday, the Barangay Ginebra star slotman stressed that Rosario and Tautuaa will still have to go through an adjusting period in terms of adapting to the pro league’s unbridled physicality.
“The top two (picks) are locked in,” the 27-year-old Slaughter said. “But the rookie year is pretty hard because you got to learn a lot of new things in the PBA. It’s a whole new level, the physicality.”
The Ateneo/University of Visayas product definitely knows what he’s talking about, having also undergone a learning curve when he entered the league in 2013 on the way to being named Rookie of the Year at season’s end.
Slaughter, though, believes Rosario and Tautuaa, both standing 6-7, have what it takes to excel in the league.
“You look at the people coming in the PBA now, they’re getting bigger, stronger, more athletic,” the 6-11 cager said. “Troy is a pretty big athlete and since watching him at NU, he’s really improved and working hard. He looks really ready and determined to get in the PBA.”
“Mo, he’s a beast,” Slaughter added of Filipino-Tongan Tatutaa’s part. “You can see what he did in the D-League. He’s a lot of experience in ABL, too. I think he’ll be a force in the PBA.”
Because of those credentials, Slaughter views his fellow big men as legitimate threats in the paint.
“Anytime you step on the court against anyone, they’re a threat,” Slaughter said. “You’re all playing the same game and you’re in that game together. That just how the game goes.”
“When you step on the court, you’re out there to win and they’re trying to do the same thing,” he added.
Slaughter, though, is not threatening Rosario and Tautuaa, who will be absent in the draft as they’re thousands of miles away in Estonia with Gilas Pilipinas.
“I’m pretty cool with both of them,” the affable Ginebra center said. “I’m always glad to see when people are successful especially when it comes after hard work. It’s always good to see someone get what they deserve.”