Slaughter ‘difference maker’ for Ginebra in 1st Commissioner’s Cup title in 21 years
Greg Slaughter was sidelined with an ACL injury when Barangay Ginebra got outclassed by San Miguel Beer in the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals in five games.
Now healthy, Slaughter showed how much of a difference he makes for the Gin Kings, and the Beermen learned it the hard way in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup Finals.
“I think the guy that we didn’t really give enough credit to was Greg Slaughter. The energy that he played throughout the series against June Mar, he was the difference maker for us,” said Ginebra head coach Tim Cone Wednesday night after guiding the franchise to its 11th title and first Commissioner’s Cup crown in 21 years.
With Slaughter in tow, Ginebra had someone to matchup with San Miguel’s June Mar Fajardo, who had his way in their all-Filipino title duel.
The Gin Kings were able to play Fajardo one-on-one that kept the Beermen’s shooters from getting open looks.
In the title-clinching Game 6, San Miguel’s stars Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, Alex Cabagnot and Arwind Santos struggled mightily on the offensive end with Ginebra able to put defenders in front of them instead of collapsing on Fajardo.
“He (Slaughter) was the one guy who made them change the way they play,” Cone said. “Usually, they will just come down and feed June Mar over and over again but they just couldn’t do that consistently with Greg out there.”
“They changed the way they played and that gave us a little bit of an edge. We were able to take them out at what they normally do.”
Slaughter also put up the numbers. In Game 6, he had 13 points, nine rebounds and a block in nearly 40 minutes.
The 30-year-old Slaughter has always been about the team before himself and it’s no different this time despite all the praise he got from Cone.
“We pulled this thing off as a team. Everyone stepped up, everyone played their role. We came out here and put our egos aside, played our role and here we are,” he said.
“It’s been 21 years since Ginebra won this championship and we’re able to stop a streak, stop San Miguel from going 7-for-7. They’ve been dominant. I’m just glad we’re able to show what we can do when we’re complete.”
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