BARANGAY Ginebra rookie slotman Greg Slaughter announced his withdrawal from the Gilas Pilipinas pool on Friday night, saying the original 12 members of last year’s Fiba-Asia men’s championships “should be the one to go and represent the country in this year’s Fiba World Cup."
“I won’t be joining the Gilas,” said Slaughter in his opening statement before sports scribes at the press room during the first half of the San Miguel-Meralco game in the PBA Commissioner's Cup.
“I think the thing that they (GIlas players) started back in August, those 12 (players) should be the one to go and represent the country for Spain,” he added.
But the former Ateneo superstar center said he’s willing to lend a hand to the national team after the world championships set to start this August 30 and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea this September.
“In any future national team after that, I’ll be willing to play for it.”
Slaughter, the No. 1 rookie overall pick last year, said he already relayed his decision to Gilas coach Chot Reyes just before the national pool’s first practice last Monday at the Philsports Arena.
He added that his decision didn’t come hastily, having consulted several close friends before talking to Reyes.
“I had consulted a lot people about it (decision to withdraw). I just feel like it’s just right that the people who started that because they worked so hard, just those 11 days, they deserve this (playing in the World Cup),” he said.
“I realize the world championship, that maybe a once in a lifetime opportunity, but hopefully, in the future we can make it again.”
Slaughter was one of five players added to the 17-man Gilas pool, which Reyes announcement last week.
The other four were Rain or Shine guard Paul Lee, San Miguel Beer’s gunner Marcio Lassiter, Meralco’s Jared Dillinger and and bullstrong big man Beau Belga, who along with Slaughter were the last cuts in the Gilas team that finished second to Iran in the Manila showpiece.