BIG man Greg Slaughter is already used to playing before a big crowd whenever Barangay Ginebra sees action.
But still he is thrilled to know how it is gonna be when the Gin Kings take on the Talk `N Text Tropang Texters in the opener of the PBA 40th season with an anticipated crowd of 55,000 in attendance at the newly-built Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
“I haven’t really put a thought into it (playing before a huge crowd), but I can’t imagine how 55,000 is gonna be like,” the sophomore center admitted to Spin.ph
‘I saw a picture inside of the arena, and I think it looks humongous. So it’s hard to imagine to double that from Araneta (Coliseum), but I look forward to that on Sunday,” added the 26-year-old Cebuano.
Slaughter was part of the biggest PBA attendance on record when the Kings played San Mig Coffee in the deciding Game Seven of the Philippine Cup semifinals last season in a match that drew a crowd of 24,883.
Slaughter is so thrilled about the significance of the event that he vows to see action for the Kings even though he’s suffering from a tightening of his calf muscle, reason why he missed Ginebra’s last two preseason games.
“We’re just at the track (and field stadium), been working on my calf a lot, but just needs to rest. We don’t want to force it because maybe, it’s gonna get strained if we go harder,” he said.
Nonetheless, the 6-foot-11 Slaughter said everybody’s doing well in practice, upbeat the coming season will give the Kings a chance to redeem themselves after another disappointing performance last season.
“I think we have so much room for growth. Maybe we’re just playing 60 percent right now, but we're really wanting it,” said the big man out of Ateneo and the Rookie of the Year last season.
“Everyone’s coming along. Now we have one more week to prepare, but everyone knows the urgency that’s required now, so I’m really optimistic on Sunday,” added Slaughter, who averaged 14.5 points, 10.0 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.4 blocks in his rookie season.
The Kings take on the Tropang Texters in Sunday’s main game at 5 p.m. just after the curtain raiser pitting expansion franchises Blackwater and Kia Motors featuring playing-coach and boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao.