Gin kings to exploit Slaughter’s towering presence
Since seven-footer Greg Slaughter arrived, Barangay Ginebra has stuck to a proven and tested method of rhythmically striking its opponents inside.
It will be no different when the Gin Kings continue the sequel of their storied rivalry with the Meralco Bolts in the PBA Governors’ Cup Finals.
“We believe in our fundamentals,” said Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone. “We’re going to go out and do the basic things that we normally do.”
The defending champions have prepared nothing special to counter an upgraded Meralco side in Game 1 of their best-of-seven championship series at Quezon Convention Center in Lucena City on Friday.
“We’ll just stay on what we know and once things aren’t working, then that’s the time we make adjustments,” said the league’s most decorated coach with 19 conference titles.
At the focal point of their back-to-back titular bid in the season-ending conference is the towering Slaughter, a riddle other teams could only solve when the skillful big man is not in his elements.
Slaughter is an essential piece of Ginebra’s squadron of quick-footed big men which includes the 6-foot-9 Japeth Aguilar, Joe Devance and import Justin Brownlee.
They will certainly create mismatches in the paint since the Bolts will rely heavily on Allen Durham, Ranidel De Ocampo and Cliff Hodge to contain them.
“There will be mismatches at the perimeter if they play Durham and Ranidel at 4-5,” said Cone.
“We have tough matchups for them but I think our advantage really is our size, because our size dictates their matchups,” added Cone.
When the Gin Kings captured the crown in six games last year, Slaughter was on the sidelines nursing a leg injury. At that time, Durham spent most of his time guarding Brownlee.
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