THE presence of Greg Slaughter always made it tough for Poy Erram to get substantial playing time when they were still teammates at Ateneo.
But being opponents in the pro ranks has given Erram a chance to prove to his college teammate that he’s a worthy starter.
Slaughter can definitely see that as he praised Erram in Ginebra’s 94-77 loss to Blackwater in their PBA Philippine Cup matchup on Friday night, saying it was a result of his hard work especially when he was recovering from an ACL injury.
Erram tallied 22 points, 11 boards, four blocks, one steal, and one assist in 38 minutes as he held his ground against the Gin Kings twin towers of Slaughter and Japeth Aguilar.
“Poy’s good,” Slaughter said. “We were seeing each other actually when we both had rehab at the same time, both on our ACLs. He was ahead of me and I just saw how hard he was working, so I’m not surprised.”
“Even before he got injured, everyone could see how he much (he improved),” he added. “He continued working hard in rehab, and hard work pays off.”
Slaughter also anchored the middle for the Gin Kings’ with 20 points, 10 boards, four assists, and one block in 34 minutes, but the towering slotman implied that the Gin Kings failed to bring their A-game as a unit against the up-and-coming Elite.
“(Coach Tim) was warning us and you could see how they were playing their first couple of games. This team’s for real,” Slaughter said.. “They’ve been building, making the right moves. They’ve really been building themselves to be contenders.”
“We can’t come out resting on our laurels,” he added. “We always have to bring our game. Hopefully we learned that lesson tonight.”