THE desire to have a tall Gilas Pilipinas team prompted the coaching staff led by Tim Cone to include Greg Slaughter in the Final 12 for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Slaughter was included in the Gilas roster for the SEA Games men’s basketball tournament as a late replacement for RR Pogoy, who suffered a back injury during TnT Katropa's campaign in the Governors’ Cup.
Cone said Slaughter was originally supposed to be part of the Final 12 had he not sustained an injury in his right thumb while playing for Barangay Ginebra.
“He would have been part of the original 12 if he had been healthy at the time. Now that he is healthy, we need his size on the national team,” said Cone, who picked the seven-footer over Ginebra teammates Scottie Thompson and Art Dela Cruz.
Slaughter is joined in the Final 12 by big men June Mar Fajardo, Christian Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, Troy Rosario, and Vic Manuel along with LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle, Marcio Lassiter, Matthew Wright, Chris Ross, and Kiefer Ravena.
Gilas plays Singapore at 8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena to open its bid for the country's 18th gold in 20 stagings of men's basketball in the regional showpiece.
Cone hopes the Slaughter’s upcoming stint in the SEA Games will be a boost for his international career.
“We hope this will be a valuable experience for him for future stints in Gilas,” said Slaughter.