THE Barangay Ginebra-Alaska knockout match lived up to its billing on Saturday, turning into a highly physical affair that ended with the Kings routing the Aces, 108-95, to advance to the semifinals.
And the physicality was none more evident than the 'souvenir' Greg Slaughter got from the knockout match.
After getting his jersey torn by Calvin Abueva last Wednesday in the 97-107 loss to Alaska that forced a do-or-die game, Slaughter ended up with three long, reddish scratches on his neck after a skirmish with 'The Beast' in the first quarter on Saturday.
“It’s still stinging, but it’s just part of the game,” the top pick in this season's draft raft said as he shrugged off the scratches on his neck, one as long as five inches, which he got when a shoving match ended with Abueva swinging an arm at the Ginebra rookie.
Slaughter, however, kept his cool, knowing he the last laugh as the Gin Kings kept their campaign alive while the Aces were sent packing to an early vacation. Abueva was also called for a flagrant foul in the play and is in line for another sanction.
“You can’t lose your cool because that’s just how some people play,” the former Ateneo star said.
Slaughter registered 11 points and six boards in 36 minutes on Saturday as he didn’t have to carry much of the load with frontcourt partner and birthday-boy Japeth Aguilar having an impressive outing with a career-high-tying 29 points, 13 boards, five blocks, and one steal.
“We all had our minds on the championship, so we’re just trying to achieve our goal,” Slaughter said.