NOT a few people label Barangay Ginebra big men Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar as either 'too soft' or 'lazy,' but Gin Kings skills coach Kirk Colier begged to disagree.
Colier, back with Ginebra since the start of the PBA’s 40th season, said critics of the 'Twin Towers' will surely change their mind if they see the time and effort Slaughter and Aguilar have put in the gym to improve their skills.
“I’ve always been a coach that believes size makes a huge difference 90 percent of the time and I know Greg gets criticized a whole lot because people call him lazy this and that, but I see the exact opposite,” Colier told Spin.ph.
“I know that in the offseason, he’s (Slaughter) at the gym when a lot (of players) weren’t and he’s in the weight room three times a week.”
Collier, in fact, gives both the 6-foot-11 Slaughter and Aguilar passing marks while going up against taller and bigger imports in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
“I’m very happy with his (Slaughter’s) progress so far, but I think the good thing about Greg and even Japeth, is that that they know they are nowhere near their potential,” he said.
“And it’s not just me, but any coaches in the league would tell you, that their potential is a lot higher than where they are right now,” stressed the 53-year-old skills coach.
“Every time you have a seven-foot guy whose doing okay averaging 16 (points) and eight (rebounds) in an import season, and he’s only 25 years old, (then) sky’s the limit.”
Colier had even seen Slaughter hold his ground against KIA Motors’ 7-3 import Peter John Ramos in a recent game, finishing with 14 points and eight rebounds.
He did run into foul trouble late in the third canto, but the Gin Kings managed to scrape past the Carnival, 100-93.
On the other hand, the athletic Aguilar, who has seen limited action while playing behind import Michael Dunigan, also played a key role by contributing four points and six rebounds in a solid relief job.
Colier said the 6-foot-9 Aguilar has actually started to regain his upper body strength and conditioning by stepping up his personal workout. He has also recently hired a dietician, Colier added.
“Japeth focused mostly on just getting stronger. He was stronger when he came back from the national team. He got off his weight program, but then he got back on it and he has hired a dietician that’s really helped him out with his food,” said Colier.
While the Gilas Pilipinas mainstay is averaging just 11.2 minutes in the midseason, import-spiced conference, Colier believes Aguilar’s energy level is much higher now as he works to strengthen his legs by doing squats and lunges.
“I really think that his (Aguilar) energy level is higher because of his food and the strength he got on the upper body, while the squats and lunges, that really helps his legs,” he said.