GREG Slaughter drew high praise from head coach Tim Cone after holding his own against Meralco’s Arinze Onuaku in Ginebra’s 88-81 win on Monday in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Onuaku got his usual numbers of 12 points and 18 rebounds, but one key stat was missing – his assist numbers.
The hulking Bolts import usually racks up his assists numbers due to his ability to draw multiple defenders and find open shooters. But with Slaughter there to match up with him one on one, Ginebra rarely needed to double, leaving Onuaku with zero assists for the game.
“I thought Greg did a great job on Onuaku tonight,” said Cone.
“He wasn't as big as a presence as we thought he was going to be, but we know he's gonna be a bigger presence in the next game,” he added.
For Slaughter, it’s all about playing his role the right way.
“I’m just glad we got the win. Right now it’s all about playing as a team, especially against Meralco since they’re a very disciplined team,” said Slaughter.
“Whatever role each of us got to do individually, we’re doing it. Fortunately we got the win today,” he added.
Slaughter was also a factor on offense as he hit five of his 10 shots to finish with 13 points and seven rebounds in the win that pulled Ginebra within a win of the semifinals - not bad for a team that started the tournament at 1-5.
He knows that he can’t match Onuaku mano y mano, that’s why he’s finding ways to make the Meralco import work. One of which, surprisingly, is by beating him on the break.
“He’s a handful. He’s a big guy and experienced. You just got to find ways to beat him cause he’s such a big guy, you can’t beat him with brute force. Fortunately sometimes I was able to run the floor on him and got some easy dunks,” said Slaughter.
The 7’0 center out of Cebu however is expecting a different Onuaku come Game Two.
“I’m anticipating they'll go to him more next game. They didn’t go to him that much today but I’m expecting they’ll be going to him a lot more next game.”