Greg Slaughter insists focus on winning title than overtaking rival June Mar Fajardo in BPC race
Greg Slaughter boosted his chance of bagging his first Best Player of the Conference award with frontrunner June Mar Fajardo out of the playoffs early. Jerome Ascano

GREG Slaughter is not putting much weight on him finally putting one over long-time rival June Mar Fajardo following Barangay Ginebra’s ouster of San Miguel Beer in the PBA Governors Cup playoffs.

The returning big man said he’s not really concentrating on his match-up with Fajardo as the premium is more collectively rather than individually.

“I don’t know,” when asked about his thoughts on playing a role at denying Fajardo and the Beermen of winning a rare grand slam and perhaps, denying his fellow Cebuano a shot at claiming a sixth Best Player of the Conference award.

“He’s been doing his thing (for San Miguel), but I’m not really focused on that. I’m just focused on helping my team and win a championship for us.”

In the first ever playoffs match-up between the two young giants from the South, Fajardo, the reigning three-time league MVP, obviously had monster numbers more than Slaughter. The San Miguel stalwart produced 19 points, 22 rebounds, and five blocked shots compared to the 13-5-3 of his Ginebra counterpart.

But the Kings will advance to the semis, leaving behind a devastated Beermen side, whose 104-84 drubbing at the hands of the reigning champions denied it a place in the Final Four for the first time since the 2015 Commissioner’s Cup.

With Fajardo and the Beermen out of the picture, Slaughter likewise boosted his chance of bagging a first ever Best Player of the Conference award.

The 7-foot Ginebra center is expected to move up in the race for the conference’s highest individual plum as Fajardo is likely to lose his hold of the top spot.

As per the late list statistics released by the league prior to the playoffs, Slaughter is running third with a total of 33.09 statistical points, just within striking distance of no. 2 Chris Newsome (33.27) of Meralco.

Fajardo is actually a far no. 1 with 37.9 sps.

 Again, Slaughter stressed his mantra as a player, insisting team first above individual glory.

 “I’ve never been focusing on that. I just wanna win a championship,” said Slaughter, the former no. 1 overall pick and Rookie of the Year (2014) from Ateneo and the University of the Visayas.

“In all of my career beginning in Cebu, it’s all about winning championships,” said the 29-year-old from Cleveland, Ohio. “Individual awards are nice, but I like winning championships (more).”

Ginebra faces the winner of the TnT Katropa-Rain or Shine sudden-death game on Friday in the best-of-five semis.


Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos