DESPITE another coaching change, Greg Slaughter still has big expectations for himself and for Barangay Ginebra this 2015.
The Ginebra big man feels optimistic the Kings are ready to move on and have a fresh start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup two weeks from now following the return of coach Ato Agustin.
“We’re still getting our work done, but I just wanna see more success for the team because it’s already been three conferences in a row where we haven’t made it out of the quarterfinals,” Slaughter told Spin.ph.
The Kings last made the semifinals in last season’s Philippine Cup – curiously – under Agustin when they were booted out by eventual champion San Mig Coffee in a winner-take-all Game Seven.
Looking trim and sharp, the big man out of Ateneo said the Kings will use the major sentiments of their avid fans as rallying point as they try to make up for yet another disappointing showing in the All-Filipino Cup under former coach Jeff Cariaso.
“We all take the never-say-die (battle cry) very personally. We know the (Ginebra) fans are very disappointed, but I feel we’re more disappointed because we’re losing,” shared the 26-year-old top rookie pick two years ago.
“Not only are we losing, but we feel the disappointment of all the fans. That really affects us. Being on Ginebra, we feel we have the responsibility to the fans to do well.”
With Agustin back at the helm, Slaughter hopes the Kings will be able to maximize the up-tempo game they’ve been known for throughout the years following Cariaso’s failed bid to instill in them the intricacies of the triangle offense.
“That’s (fast break) what we need. We believe we can get more fast breaks. That’s what we haven’t been getting. For people we have like Chris (Ellis), Mark (Caguioa), Jayjay (Helterbrand). and Joseph (Yeo), I feel we don’t have as much fast break as we should (under Cariaso),” stressed last season’s Rookie of the Year.
On a personal note, Slaughter explained he is determined to keep himself sharp throughout the season after admitting his play suffered a decline in the season-opening tournament.
“I feel pretty good right now. My main focus is just to be able to maintain that level, because I feel I kinda declined last conference from the beginning to end, whether it be from my diet to work out. So I just need to maintain my level,” added Slaughter, who averaged 14.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 1.0 assist in the Philippine Cup.
Ginebra still has yet to make an official announcement on who will be its import for the mid-season conference, though Agustin did mention the team already have a short list of prospects.