Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s 7-foot center Greg Slaughter is as frustrated as anyone on his team after the Kings suffered their second straight defeat in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup. They all understand what a letdown it was as well for the team’s legions of fans who tried to mightily will the team to victory.
After losing to Meralco, 85-74, on opening day of the PBA’s second conference, Ginebra came up short against Barako Bull, 69-68, last Sunday in Biñan, Laguna, the potential winning shot heaved by Joseph Yeo missing badly.
“I can understand the frustration,” said Slaughter, who averaged close to 21 points and 12 rebounds per game, in a text message yesterday.
He has some advice to the coaching staff.
He said the team needs to make some changes in terms of their offensive patterns to put guys in good scoring positions, especially those who have the ability to put the ball in the basket.
“Obviously we have to change some things. We haven’t been shooting a great percentage from the field. I think we need to get people more in their preferred scoring positions,” said Slaughter.
“Being on Ginebra team brings a responsibility to the loyal fans and seven years without a championship; the thirst for winning is there. We’re just as frustrated, too,” Slaughter said.
“I know none of the guys wants to let the fans down and everyone from the management, coaching staff, players and utilities are going to do everything we can to make this work. Some of us are just going to have to sacrifice,” added the sophomore center Slaughter.
The team’s 6-foot-7 import Mike Dunigan has averaged just 14 points and 13 rebounds in two games, numbers that are below the expectations of Ginebra, which was able to sign the former Air21 reinforcement despite being offered to play for the Bolts.
The Bulletin tried to contact Ginebra mentor Ato Agustin, but the former league MVP did not return calls and text messages. Agustin was named Ginebra coach before the conference, his second stint with the team, to bring a new philosophy to the popular squad which was handled by Jeff Cariaso for two conferences.
Aside from Slaughter, the team is loaded with talent with former PBA MVPs Mark Caguioa, Jayjay Helterbrand, Gilas Pilipinas players LA Tenorio and Japeth Aguilar, Mac Baracael, Joseph Yeo and Chris Ellis.
Ginebra’s next game is against Philippine Cup champion San Miguel Beer on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.