Cone ‘happy’ over latest development of Slaughter’s career but says return to Ginebra still unclear
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone joined a chorus of support for the latest career move of Greg Slaughter, but the PBA’s two-time Grand Slam coach said the star center’s latest update doesn’t provide any clarity at all as to his career with the Kings.
“I’m very happy for him,” Cone said on Friday in a message to the Inquirer, after Slaughter posted on his Instagram account earlier in the day that he had signed with BeoBasket, an international basketball agency.
Ginebra forward Japeth Aguilar, Slaughter’s frontcourt partner, also backed the Cebuano big man, writing as a comment to the post: “You can do it Greg! I believe[d] in you since Day 1.”
Former Gilas Pilipinas players Matthew Wright, Marc Pingris, Gabe Norwood, Ray Parks Jr. and six-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, Slaughter’s rival during their collegiate years in Cebu, also posted congratulatory messages.
Slaughter left Ginebra due to an unresolved contract extension issue and had earlier announced he was going on a sabbatical. Cone admitted in a podcast interview recently that getting Slaughter back was turning out to be a “tall order.”
The odds seemed further stacked against the Kings with the latest development.
“[The latest update] doesn’t clarify if or when he’s returning to Ginebra,” Cone said.
Slaughter shook the PBA and the Barangay Ginebra fandom when he decided to “take a break to be able to work on myself in all aspects” just before the PBA held its preseason press conference.
The Kings were all set to gun for the Philippine Cup crown without their prized man in the middle before the coronavirus pandemic halted league action.
Very few, if any, of Slaughter’s latest pronouncements have indicated when or if he is returning to Ginebra and the former Ateneo star in the UAAP said his focus is on trying to make the Gilas Pilipinas’ talent pool for the Fiba 2023 World Cup, which the Philippines will be cohosting with Japan and Indonesia.
He will be 35 years old by then.
“I will forever be humbled by the opportunities basketball and its fans have given me,” Slaughter’s post read. “Wherever my journey takes me, I will always proudly represent the Philippines.”
The 7-foot Slaughter joins a bevy of international cagers in Misko Raznatovic’s agency and is the first Filipino to do so.
“They represent many athletes whom I greatly admire that compete in the [National Basketball Association], EuroLeague and Asia,” Slaughter wrote in his Instagram entry.
Among the notable NBA players in the BeoBasket roster are Nikola Jokic, Cedi Osman, Boban Marjanovic and Dario Saric among others.
Cone had said last week that his latest information on his former ward is that Slaughter is hoping to try out for an NBA G League team.
That was quashed by Slaughter, sharing on Twitter a story published by SunStar Cebu detailing his immediate plans. His caption read: “Fact check.”
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