Ginebra’s Slaughter putting up unprecedented numbers
To say that Greg Slaughter is so far having a grand time opening up a PBA season is an understatement.
After three games with Barangay Ginebra, the 7-foot center out of Cebu is averaging league-leading numbers 27.3 points and 19.7 rebounds, with his total of 82 markers and 59 boards easily eclipsing the all-time three-game record held by another dominant big man of an earlier generation, Asi Taulava.
Taulava, like several other Filipino-foreigners, entered the league with a splash in 1999 and the former Talk ‘N Text center had totals of 74 points and 48 rebounds in his first three games with the then-Phone Pals.
The Rookie of the Year two seasons ago, Slaughter is turning in numbers no local player has ever sustained for a whole conference, with the best rebounding average, according to official statistician Fidel Mangonon III, being the 14.9 of arch rival June Mar Fajardo of San Miguel Beer in the 2014 Philippine Cup.
There is also no local player who even came close to averaging a “20-20” in points and rebounds, and if Slaughter could keep up the pace, he would become the first in a league that has seen so many great centers in the past.
That Slaughter is playing at this pace is a great achievement considering that he is doing it in the presence of Fajardo, San Miguel Beer’s 6-foot-10 cornerstone who is the reigning two-time MVP.
Fajardo is norming 17 points and 13 rebounds per game for the Beermen, who have a 3-1 record.
Slaughter’s numbers in the first three Ginebra games are making those of Fajardo’s look like child’s play, with Slaughter also turning in four assists per contest while shooting at a 63.8% clip.
On normal starts to a conference, Fajardo’s stats would easily stand out, as the San Miguel Beer center is shooting at a 55.6% clip and is dishing out 1.8 assists and blocking the same number of shots.
At press time, Fajardo and Slaughter – like they did so many times while they were still in Cebu – will be locking horns yet again with the Beermen seeking the solo lead and the Gin Kings gunning for a win that would put them at .500 for the first time here.
And more than the eye-popping numbers that he has so far turned in, Slaughter could make this season-opening stretch even more memorable if he could outplay Fajardo one-on-one.