Injured Greg Slaughter puts on brave face: 'This is just a setback and not the end'
Injured Greg Slaughter reduced into a spectator in Game One. Jaime Campos

“IT’S killing me, I wish I could be out there.”

Injured Ginebra big man Greg Slaughter said he was itching to step on the court in the Gin Kings’ 115-108 victory over defending champion San Miguel in Game One of their PBA Governors’ Cup semifinal series at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Monday night.

As Ginebra fans went wild during Ginebra's second-half comeback from 13 points down, Slaughter, who was on street clothes, watched his teammates quietly from the patron section and wished he was healthy to join the action.

“It’s killing me, I wish I could be out there,” said the 2013 top rookie pick, who is out for six to nine months due to an ACL tear. “(But) it’s just a setback, it’s not the end, (and) I know I’ll just keep progressing. When I come back, I know I’ll be where I want to be.”

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Although unable to play, Slaughter was relieved to see teammates Justin Brownlee, Japeth Agular and Dave Marcelo do a good job ganging up on San Miguel big man June Mar Fajardo, who still had 25 points and 15 rebounds but was eerily silent in the endgame.

“Just overall I think the defense on June Mar was good. Everyone did a good job, Justin, Japeth, Dave, taking turns on him, it was like a whole team effort,” he said.

But Slaughter reminded his teammates not to be complacent after one win, recalling the last Philippine Cup finals where the Beermen made history by overcoming a 0-3 deficit against Alaska.

“It’s a really good win but that’s a team you can’t take lightly, it’s just one game,” he said. “Everything else, we got to bring a lot harder next game because San Miguel being the champion that they are, I’m sure they’re gonna come back stronger next game.”

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Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinspin