Slaughter cleared for Ginebra practice, bolsters hope for his availability for SMB match
Greg Slaughter sits out a second straight game for Ginebra. Jerome Ascano

HELP may be on the way for struggling Barangay Ginebra as Greg Slaughter is close to recovering from a hamstring injury.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone bared his seven-foot slotman has already been cleared to practice on Saturday after sitting out the past two games, both of which resulted in losses for the Gin Kings.

But fans who expect to see ‘Gregzilla’ back in action for their titanic match-up against June Mar Fajardo and San Miguel on Sunday shouldn’t hold their breath.

“My understanding is that he’s clear to start practicing. That means he’ll have one practice tomorrow before we play San Miguel," said Cone, who added, "I don’t think it’s prudent for us to risk him not being in shape, cause with the hamstring injury you can't do any running."

“He hasn’t ran in almost two weeks or in over a week. I don’t think it’s prudent for us to make him go out there and play when he’s out shape, especially against a June Mar,” he added.

Slaughter echoed his coach’s sentiments.

Though visibly frustrated as he watched his squad drop games while he’s sitting on the bench, Slaughter is careful not to rush back into the court and risk aggravating his injury.

“I really want to play but the worst thing we can do right now is to rush it because our big picture, our end goal is we want to win this championship,” Slaughter said.

“We’re being patient with it and we’ll just see how it goes day by day,” he added.

Though the chances of Slaughter playing against the defending champions are slim, Cone haven’t shot down the idea. The multi-titled mentor however is just relieved to find out that the reigning Governor’s Cup Best Player is close to being available.

“We’re gonna have to think long and hard if we’re gonna play him on Sunday,” Cone continued. "But atleast if he’s coming back to practice tomorrow, it means he’s gonna be available soon barring any setbacks.”

With or without him, Slaughter is confident that his team can hang with the Beermen.

“We’ve got to come out and play with more effort. This second half, we showed that we weren’t the same team that played the first half,” Slaughter said.

“If we want to beat San Miguel, we got to play all 48 minutes.” 

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