OTHYUS Jeffers is hardly surprised that Greg Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar are doing an admirable job manning the middle for Barangay Ginebra in a PBA Commissioner’s Cup dominated by imports.
The Gin Kings' decision to tap a small import in Jeffers, who stands a shade below 6-3, and let the local twin towers take care of the paint against the other teams’ reinforcements has paid dividends so far.
While Jeffers continued to deliver with 23 points in 9-of-14 shooting, 14 boards, six assists, and two steals in 42 minutes, the local big men also anchored the paint with aplomb.
Slaughter registered 16 points, nine boards, four blocks, while Aguilar added 14 points, eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals, and two assists as their combined numbers overshadowed MJ Rhett’s 24 points and 23 rebounds.
“Not that they’re taking load off me, but we’re a team,” Jeffers said in a short chat with Spin.ph after the game. “They’re playing their positions.
“There are not too many players that can match up with Greg and there are not too many players that can match up with Japeth.”
For that matter, Jeffers beamed almost everyone on his team can be a matchup problem.
“There are not too many players that can match up with pretty much anyone on our team,” the NBA veteran said. “So it’s not the teams we’re playing against; it’s us learning how to play with each other.”
“We’re still running the triangle (offense),” he added. “We still have our limitations and learn how to play through our strengths and cover our weaknesses.”
And so far, the Gin Kings, as a unit, have been succeeding, considering they’re above .500 and running fourth with a 4-3 win-loss slate.
“We’ve always been good,” Jeffers said. “We’re still getting comfortable running the triangle and knowing what passes to do in the triangle.”
“We got away from ourselves in the Alaska game, so we did a lot of starting over from the beginning on working on our execution and today it paid off,” he added.