JUST like the rest of the legion of PBA fans who have been awaiting the season’s most intriguing matchup, celebrated Barangay Ginebra rookie center Greg Slaughter felt disappointed at the prospect of not playing against longtime rival June Mar Fajardo of Petron on Christmas Day.
Slaughter heard about the injury suffered by Fajardo in practice Monday afternoon, which could likely sideline the Petron sophomore for their December 25 showdown in the PLDT myDSL-Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena.
[For full story, see Fajardo in doubt for showdown with Slaughter after injuring knee in practice]
The Ginebra big man said Fajardo will always be in his prayer as he wishes his safety and quick recovery from the injury.
They Said It!
““I hope he still plays. It’s not just for myself and a personal challenge to play June Mar. I know how fans have been waiting for it. As early as November, people have been reaching out on social media, expressing their excitement for the game." - Barangay Ginebra 2013 top pick Greg Slaughter
“First of all, I hope he’s okay. Second, I was kinda looking forward to our matchup after so many years. I was looking forward to that to see how we both progressed,” said Slaughter shortly after reading a story that came out on Spin.ph about the knee injury suffered by the Petron sophomore center.
“Everyone was looking forward to that (our matchup),” added the 6-foot-11 Slaughter, this year’s No. 1 overall pick in the draft. “I was looking forward to it. It’s been a while since our days in Cebu.”
Fajardo and Slaughter have been pitted against and compared to each other since their playing days in the Cebu Schools Athletic Federation Inc, (Cesafi) playing for University of Cebu and University of Visayas, respectively.
The last time they faced each other came during the 2009 Finals when Slaughter steered UV to the championship.
They never played against each other since then after Slaughter went to Manila and play for Ateneo in the UAAP.
“It was a good chance for me to finally go up against him. It’s been awhile since we played each other. But I don’t know the details now. I hope it’s not that bad,” he said, stressing his matchup against Fajardo could have been one of the biggest tests of his young pro career.
“It was an exciting matchup, everyone’s waiting for it. He has my size as well. And June Mar is a tough big man. But we’ll still prepare like he’ll be there,” Slaughter said.
As of post time, Fajardo is still undergoing a series of tests including an MRI scan for doctors to be able to assess the extent of the injury.
But in the event Fajardo is indeed, ruled out for the Wednesday’s main game set at 8 p.m., Slaughter said Ginebra will never be caught napping.
“(Assuming June Mar won’t be there) work shouldn’t be easier for us. Definitely not, they still (Boosters) have Arwind (Santos), Doug Kramer, and other bigs. Petron is tied for the number one with us for a reason,” he said.
“But still … I wish I can still play against June Mar on Christmas day. People have been looking forward to this ever since the PBA schedule came out. Too bad, it’s the only one (matchup) we’ll have in the first conference,” he said.
Fajardo and Slaughter are set to meet just once in the All-Filipino as Petron and Ginebra belong to the same group. Under the inter and intra format, teams bracketed in the same group will only meet once in the eliminations.
“I hope he still plays. It’s not just for myself and a personal challenge to play June Mar. I know how fans have been waiting for it. As early as November, people have been reaching out on social media, expressing their excitement for the game,” said Slaughter.