THANKFUL as he is to be a part of the Gilas Pilipinas pool for next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament, Ginebra big man Greg Slaughter would rather not think about his national team commitment at this time.
For now, it’s all about the Kings’ campaign in the 41st season of the PBA for the 6-11 center out of Ateneo, which unfortunately got off on the wrong foot following the team’s 86-78 loss to rival Star in its opening game in the Smartbro Philippine Cup.
“I’m definitely keeping that in the back of my mind as the competition goes by,” said Slaughter when asked about being tapped anew for possible inclusion in the 12-man team of coach Tab Baldwin that will try to punch a ticket to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Slaughter was named anew to the training pool a year after begging off from the Gilas pool ahead of the 2014 Fiba World Cup.
Although still a long way to go, the former league top draft pick said he’s definitely using the ongoing season of the league to be in tip-top shape for the qualifiers set July 4-10.
“I wanna use the PBA to always gets better and prepare myself for Gilas when the time comes,” he said.
Slaughter showed what he’s capable of doing in the Kings’ game against the Hotshots, scoring 28 points on 12-of-18 shooting from the field and grabbing 16 rebounds on top of four assists and a block in 39 minutes of play.
The effort took its toll on the big man who almost suffered cramps at endgame and needed to be massaged at the Ginebra bench.
But it’s just his first game of the season and Slaughter knows he’ll just keep better.
Good for Ginebra. Good for Gilas.