BARANGAY Ginebra rookie center Greg Slaughter doesn’t consider the team’s 97-83 win over Petron Blaze as “half-baked” despite the fact that the Boosters played without their most dominant player in June Mar Fajardo, who is nursing an MCL sprain on his right knee.
Noting that injuries are part of professional basketball life, the Gin Kings simply came to their Christmas Day match up with the mindset of beating Petron, which, for more than a month, held on the No. 1 spot in the standings by winning its first seven games of the season.
“I was looking forward to it (playing against Fajardo), but injuries are part of the game. So we just did what Ginebra does and play our basketball. Hopefully, we could carry that momentum on our last five games,” Slaughter said after logging 17 points, grabbing eight rebounds and adding two blocks.
Without Fajardo’s solid frame in the paint, the 6-11 Slaughter threw his full weight against Petron’s undersized defenders Doug Kramer and Yousef Taha.
But Slaughter refused to get all the credit, citing the major roles played by playmaker LA Tenorio, Josh Urbiztondo, Chris Ellis, Japeth Aguilar and Mark Caguioa in the solid performance over the Boosters.
“It was fun (playing Petron). I think everyone was on today. LA was doing a good job distributing the ball, Josh was pressuring. Chris was doing his usual thing and I think we really played a good game today,” added this year’s top rookie overall pick.
The Gin Kings will return to action on Saturday when they go up against first-round tormentor Meralco Bolts at the Mall of Asia Arena.