Jarencio ruing missed workouts with Slaughter
With the rising number of the infected by the coronavirus, NorthPort management had no choice but to call off its individual workouts starting late last week.
Coach Pido Jarencio fully supports the move, stressing that health comes before anything else. But he has just one regret with the cancellations.
“It’s just a pity because I enjoy seeing Greg and all of my other players work out individually,” Jarencio told the Inquirer over the phone on Wednesday night as he and his Batang Pier have been told to stay at home and comply with the latest government policy aimed to help stop the further spread of COVID-19.
There’s a reason he singled out Slaughter, though.
“I am coaching a totally different Greg Slaughter,” Jarencio said.
Slaughter was sent to the Batang Pier, who gave up Christian Standhardinger to Barangay Ginebra in the most celebrated, balanced trade of the offseason.
And with the 46th PBA Season’s opening still hanging—the April 18 schedule most likely to be moved—Jarencio feels that his crew will come into the coming wars armed to the teeth, mainly because he has “one of the best centers in the land.”
Hands-down, Slaughter is the tallest in the league at 7 feet, and Jarencio said that is something you cannot just purchase off the shelf.
“And he moves a lot better now,” the colorful coach said. “He’s very lean, quicker and the attitude that he displays is just commendable. He’s a real pro and his loyalty now lies with NorthPort. “I can see it in his eyes that he wants to do just one thing, and that is to help our team win.”
With Slaughter aboard, and with the belief that Jarencio and the management has in the former Gilas Pilipinas center, NorthPort did not extend the contract of 6-foot-5 bruiser Kelly Nabong, a veteran big man who was the backup of Standhardinger and all the other NorthPort centers before.
“Greg wants to prove to the league, to the fans and especially to himself, that he is a star in the PBA,” Jarencio said. “You can see that in the way he works. And I commend him for that and I think that would be his greatest weapon coming into the season.”
Speaking of seasons, the next tipoff will most likely happen in early May, as commissioner Willie Marcial, in an earlier interview with the Inquirer, said that he would need to give all teams more time to get their players in shape and minimize the risk of injuries.
The PBA will decide on April 4 how to go about the new season since a bubble like what it put up in Angeles City last year is very expensive.
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