The itch is there to play after being sidelined with a knee injury the past several month, but these days, Barangay Ginebra slot man Greg Slaughter is just elated to see the Kings put up a solid fight, especially after tying the PBA Philippine Cup semifinal series against Star Hotshots at 2-2.
And the 6-foot-11 Slaughter believes the Kings are benefitting from the rich championship experience of coach Tim Cone, formerly Star’s mentor, along with the team’s title conquest in last season’s Governors’ Cup.
“No question, and there’s no doubt because throughout coach Tim’s career, he’s just been a proven winner. He’s the winningest coach in PBA history, and we hope we continue winning,” Slaughter told FOX Sports as the Kings leveled the series at 2 wins via their 93-86 win over the Hotshots on Wednesday night.
Before moving over to Ginebra before the start of last season, Cone guided the Purefoods franchise to 5 PBA titles, including the rare Grand Slam in the 2014.
The American mentor, now chasing for his league-best 20th league championship, helped Ginebra end its 8-year title drought in the Governors’ Cup last season.
But the Ginebra big man reminded his teammates not to celebrate just yet, especially since all they were able to accomplish after Wednesday’s win was reduce the series into a best-of-3 affair.
“It’s a best-of-3 right now. And we don’t have much time to celebrate this one (Game 4). We got to stay focused on the next one because in a best-of-3, you’ve got to get the first win,” explained the former PBA Rookie of the Year.
“But more importantly, we set ourselves up for the opportunity so we have to grab the next one.”
In the absence of Slaughter, Cone has brought the best out of his bench, particularly rookie forward Kevin Ferrer, who has been supplying the outside shooting when open.
Veteran forward Jerry Cruz also churned out easily his best game this conference after tallying 21 points and hauling down 6 rebounds in the Game 4 win.
“We got a lot of people stepping up in the series and particularly in Game 4. We got Jervy, kevin has been solid contributing. Aljon (Mariano), Scottie (Thompson) has been pretty solid, so that gives us more unpredictability,” shared the former Ateneo top slotman.
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