Brgy. Ginebra head coach Tim Cone believes that former Gin Kings center Greg Slaughter will elevate his game and reach his full potential at NorthPort.
The 32-year old Fil Am was dealt to the Batang Pier last week for fellow top overall pick Christian Standhardinger in one-on-one deal which was reportedly agreed upon by the two teams as early as late 2019 but was placed on the back burner after Slaughter suddenly left for the US.
With the swap finally a done deal, Cone is confident that Slaughter will blossom into a dominant player.
“I honestly think Greg is just going to kill in NorthPort. In many ways, this could be a really good thing for Greg,” said Cone after the virtual PBA Press Corps Awards Night.
“He was kind of in a timeshare with Japeth throughout his whole career. They had a difficult time playing together consistently. There were stretches when they ended up just substituting for each other, and that was really difficult for both players,” he added.
Cone admitted that Slaughter, who averaged 9.6 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists and 0.9 blocks in 49 games during his last full season with the Gin Kings in 2019, was restricted to certain roles within the team’s system.
“We kind of pigeonholed Greg because of our system and what we wanted from him, and we didn’t really give him the freedom that he really wanted. And I think that if you give him that freedom, I think he’s gonna put up just tremendous numbers, and he’s gonna look really, really good, and he’s gonna have an opportunity he’s never had in his career,” explained the league’s winningest mentor.
And while Cone understands the 7-footer’s hesitation to leave the team, he feels that his transfer to the Batang Pier side will provide him the opportunity to shine.
“I don’t think anybody ever wants to leave Ginebra. I mean it’s like the Mecca of our basketball. I realized that as I came here, I didn’t know that. I saw it from a distance, but being here, it’s just the Mecca of basketball — you have the fans, the attention, the backings of San Miguel and boss RSA (Ramon S. Ang) and Alfrancis Chua. It’s just a really great place to play basketball,” said Cone.
“But I think in the long run, I think this could be really, really, really good for Greg. And I think he’s primed. I’ve been talking to him and seeing the energy he’s come back with during this break, I think he’s primed for a huge breakout. Sayang it’s not gonna happen with us, it’s probably going to happen with NorthPort.”