IT was a bit different out there as Greg Slaughter faced for the first time a Barangay Ginebra team where he spent the first seven years of his pro career.
Greg Slaughter on facing Ginebra
But the 7-foot veteran is not one to dwell too much on the past and would rather look forward to the future, which he believes NorthPort has tons of it with the way the team played two of the top title contenders in the PBA Philippine Cup in its previous outings.
Although the Batang Pier lost two close games against the San Miguel Beermen and the reigning all-Filipino champions, Slaughter sees a lot of positives with the way things out are fanning out for the franchise.
“It’s all good. We got a talented team here. We just got to figure out our rhythm,” he said. “Sometimes we play really good, then sometimes we’re figuring out what we need to do. I think we’ll get a little more mature.”
The Batang Pier both lost by one possession against the Beermen and the Kings.
Arwind Santos hit the game-winning basket with 1.2 seconds in San Miguel’s 88-86 victory, while Ginebra leaned on a timely Christian Standhardinger bucket at the buzzer to prevail, 87-85.
The loss to the Kings was a pretty tough one as the Batang Pier led by as many as 13 early in the first half, and then battled their way back from a seven-point fourth quarter deficit to have a shot at upsetting the defending champion.
They almost pulled it off as rookie Jamie Malonzo had a clear path to the basket and soared high for what appeared to be an easy slam, only for Japeth Aguilar to come from nowhere and denied the Fil-Am forward from scoring.
The great defensive play set up the Kings for the game-winner.
“You know they’re (Ginebra) just a well-executed team, and you don’t want to play them down the wire,” he said of his former team where he won a total of four championships.
Slaughter, 33, both had double-doubles in the two games he played so far with the Batang Pier, and averaged 19.5 points and 15.0 rebounds.
He hasn’t won a game yet in a NorthPort uniform, but judging with the way the team played as a unit in their last two games, Slaughter is very positive about the Batang Pier’s campaign this season.
“We’ll just take the positives from this cause you know we’re right there in the last two games,” he noted.
“We just need to get a little bit better. The last two games, we’re almost right there.”