NorthPort head coach Pido Jarencio is hoping that new Batang Pier center Greg Slaughter can replicate the impact that former import Prince Ibeh brought to the team during the 2019 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
The 6-foot-10 Ibeh powered the Mikee Romero-owned franchise to the No. 2 spot at the end of the elimination round but fell short in the quarterfinals, losing back-to-back games to eventual conference champion San Miguel.
“Nag No. 2 kami that conference because of Ibeh,” recalled Jarencio.
“Si Ibeh, hindi naman sumu-shoot yan sa labas, hindi sumu-shoot sa free throw, pero yung inside presence nandun. He can intimidate, he can dominate inside, nobody can stop him. Kung hindi namin nakalaban ang San Miguel, siguro naman nasa semis kami or baka nasa championship pa kami,” added the former PBA player.
With Slaughter now in charge of manning the shaded lane for the Batang Pier, Jarencio is confident that the team has finally addressed a major weakness.
“That’s what we’re looking at with Greg. He’s a 7-foot guy. Who can stop him? Sino ang i-stop sa kanya? Para sa akin yun, a. Kaya hindi namin puwedeng pakawalan kasi yun ang kailangan namin,” said Jarencio.
Now entering his 7th year in the league, Jarencio believes that the 32-year old Fil-Am is still due for a breakout season.
“Ang point ko, we needed a big guy who can dominate inside. And Greg is not a bad player,” he explained.
“He’s a good player who needs a good break. Yun lang yun. At least, magkaroon ng kumpiyansa yung bata. Kaya ako confidently, may ilalabas pa si Greg,”