RETURNING import Michael Dunigan believes teaming up with Barangay Ginebra’s Twin Towers in Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar gives the Kings a formidable frontline for the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
Dunigan said he had a good practice on Monday with the league’s most popular team, just two days after arriving from the United States where he is coming off a stint with the Canton Charge in the NBA D-League.
“Today I felt great being able to blow up my lungs in just the second day of practice and being able to get up and down the court with the guys and mingle up,” Dunigan told Spin.ph shortly after practice.
The former University of Oregon standout ran up and down the court, pairing with Slaughter, and later, with Aguilar during their five-on-five game while trying to master some of the plays of returning Ginebra coach Ato Agustin.
“I felt pretty good. I’m ready to play tomorrow. We seem pretty confident, but of course, I have no high expectations but I’m ready to compete,” shared the 25-year-old Dunigan, who played for the Air21 Express during his first tour of duty in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league.
“Of course at Air21, I had to guard the import and play against the import, and whether the import had to guard me on offense. But having bigs over here, I can say defensively we should be okay and be able to dictate the paint and we should not lose the rebound battle,” he added.
Ginebra opens its campaign in the second conference on Tuesday against Meralco.
With Slaughter and Aguilar in tow, the Kings emerged as the top rebounding team during the Philippine Cup with their 56-rebounds-per game average.
The 6-foot-11 Slaughter averaged in double-doubles of 14.6 points and 12.0 rebounds, while the 6-foot-9 Aguilar had 14.5 points and 9.7 boards in the same conference.
Dunigan, who was officially measured at 6-foot-8 and 1/4, said he’s well aware that Ginebra fans have high expectations on him, which is why he intends to come out and play his A-game every match.
“That’s what Ginebra fans do. They have high expectations on us, but I have high expectations on myself, too. I don’t want to disappoint anybody. Nobody should be mad,” said Dunigan, who averaged 23.9 points, 15.4 rebounds, 3.3 assists, 2.4 blocks in 42.1 minutes during his stint with the Express in the 2013 Commissioner’s Cup.