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Slaughter’s back

Games Today
(Smart Araneta)
4:15 p.m. – NLEX vs Globalport
7 p.m. – Mahindra vs Ginebra

Barangay Ginebra San Miguel center Greg Slaughter is ready to go when the Kings play the Mahindra Enforcer in a crucial tiff in the PBA Governors’ Cup today at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Slaughter, the 7-foot third year player of Ginebra, missed the team’s first eight games after surgery to remove bone spurs in his right foot.

The league’s Rookie of the Year back in 2014 has joined Ginebra’s scrimmage in their practice sessions a week ago, and coach Tim Cone said Slaughter is set to play against dangerous Mahindra in their 7 p.m. encounter.

“He’ll play very limited minutes,” said Cone, who already set Slaughter’s return against Mahindra about two weeks ago after Ginebra’s 116-103 win over Star last Aug. 28.

At the moment, four teams are already assured of eight quarterfinal berths, led by leader TNT KaTropa (8-1), Ginebra (6-2), defending champion San Miguel Beer (6-3) and Mahindra (6-3).

TNT likewise earned one of four twice-to-beat incentives in the playoffs. Ginebra, SMB, Mahindra, Meralco (5-5), Phoenix (5-4), and even NLEX and Rain or Shine – both with 4-5 cards – are still in the race for a twice-to-beat bonus.

Prior to his ankle surgery – an injury that has bothered him since his college days – Slaughter is averaging 20.16 points and 11.96 rebounds with nearly two shot blocks in the combined Philippine Cup and Commissioner’s Cup.

“I think there’s a choice here,” said Cone. “He could either be a disruption – because we’re playing good basketball – or he can be a bona fide extra weapon that takes us to a new level.”

In the first game, NLEX meets Globalport, which is nursing a 133-106 defeat to Alaska Wednesday night in Antipolo City.

Meantime, Commissioner Chito Narvasa fined Globalport guard Terrence Romeo P2,600 for a technical foul after disrespectfully addressing an official in their game versus Alaska. Globalport import Mike Glover was also penalized P5,000 for flopping and P1,600 for pointing an accusing finger.