Multi-titled mentor Tim Cone lamented the wasted opportunity of towering center Greg Slaughter being unavailable due to injury -not for Ginebra –but for Gilas Pilipinas.
Hopeful that Slaughter can still make his return in the Governors’ Cup in the latter part, Cone couldn’t help but mull the idea of having another legitimate center who can backstop Andray Blatche and June Mar Fajardo in the paint for the national team.
But it all went down south as Slaughter was recently declared out of the pool after suffering an ankle injury, which will take months to heal –a tough blow for Gilas that also lost Paul Lee and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser due to health reasons.
“We’re really thinking it will be longer than that, maybe he’ll miss the whole conference, but the biggest part of that is that he’ll miss Gilas,” said Cone on Slaughter, who managed to dropped by in the 1st practice of the Gin Kings at Green Meadows Subdivision in Quezon City.
Although Slaughter’s injury cost a big loss also in Ginebra’s campaign in the upcoming season-ending conference, Cone is more concerned on what a much-improved Slaughter can bring to the table for the country’s bid to qualify in the Rio Olympics.
“We can have (him) the next conference and the conference after that, and the next five or ten years but this is a special moment for Gilas, so it would’ve been nice for Greg to be there, because Greg’s really stepped up and playing at a high level,” he stressed.
Having no clear timetable on Slaughter’s condition, Cone admitted it was a shot to the moon wishing Gin Kings’ prized big man can comeback midway in the conference.
“There’s nothing you can do,” Cone shared. “He needed the surgery. I certainly don’t want him to have surgery, but he had to have what you have.”
“Hopefully we’ll see a livelier Greg when he comes back,” he added. “He was going to have to do it now or do it later and right now, we’ve had the longest break that we’ve had in years, so this might be the best time to do it.” – By Jason Mercene
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