MANILA, Philippines - After playing a pivotal role in eliminating the San Miguel Beermen in the quarterfinals, Greg Slaughter continued to wreak havoc for the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel in their 27-point semis opening win against the TNT KaTropa on Monday, October 2.
The seven-foot big man imposed his size on the KaTropa and dropped 16 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks in only 21 minutes of play.
Slaughter was pretty much unstoppable against the smaller TNT squad. He buried only 4 shots in 9 tries but made his living at the free throw line by nailing 8 of his 12 charities after getting fouled 8 times, the most in the game.
“I think we came out really aggressive and did well on the defensive end. That’s our calling card, how we aggressively play on defense,” Slaughter.
When both teams played each other in the semis last conference, Ginebra faced problems inside against TNT’s former import Joshua Smith who stood mighty at 6-foot-10 and 132 kilograms. With Smith, TNT won that series, 3-1, to advance to the finals.
But this conference is a whole different story for the Gin Kings facing TNT reinforcement Glen Rice Jr, who plays more like a guard than a big man. As Ginebra import Justin Brownlee puts it: What goes around comes around.
Ginebra preyed on the KaTropa with 60 points in the paint courtesy of Joe Devance, Japeth Aguilar and Gervy Cruz who chalked up 19, 10 and 10 markers, respectively.
On the other hand, TNT bigs Kelly Williams, Troy Rosario, Justin Chua and Mo Tautuaa combined for only 18 points.
“The (TNT) import’s a guard, he plays guard, he’s comfortable guarding guards and I don’t think he’s comfortable guarding bigs at all. I know that gives a lot of pressure to Kelly (Williams) down low and that’s kind of our attack point, to use our size against them,” Slaughter said.
Despite the statement win, Slaughter believes that TNT is still the dangerous team that trounced them by 29 points in the elimination round.
“It’s just one game so we can’t think too high about it. We gotta focus on the next one down in Batangas.”
Game 2 of the Ginebra-Meralco best-of-five semis series will be played at the Batangas City Coliseum on Wednesday, October 4. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.