Mendoza: Slaughter to SMB? Why not?

Al Mendoza

THE two tallest men in Philippine basketball (Greg Slaughter and June Mar Fajardo) will not be around when the 45th season of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) opens next month.

The 7-foot behemoth Greg Slaughter said he will not suit up anymore for Barangay Ginebra San Miguel this year, adding he needs a much-needed rest.

His contract with Ginebra that expired on Jan. 31 was not renewed. But that does not mean, though, that he is completely out as a Gin King. A PBA rule allows Ginebra the first crack at cornering Slaughter again once the PBA’s man-mountain decides to return.

But then, if Slaughter wants to join a team other than Ginebra, that will be allowed. He just needs to basically comply with three conditions.

One, he secures an official release from Ginebra—cleared of any liabilities dealing mainly on financial matters.

Two, the other team interested in recruiting Slaughter must either equal or top the salary being offered by Ginebra to Slaughter. Once Slaughter says he’s agreeable to the pay being offered to him by a team other than Ginebra, deal is done.

And three, Slaughter gets a clearance from PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial to leave Ginebra.

All ministerial, actually.

But will Slaughter really want to bolt Ginebra, his home for nearly six years already?

All his four PBA titles had been won with Ginebra.

He is not getting any younger. At 31, Slaughter is practically sunset-bound.

Although he is not an impactful player with his 10 points and seven rebounds per game averages, Slaughter boasts of five All-Star stints and a 2017 Best Player of the Conference trophy.

And take this: Those data make Slaughter a suitable replacement for Fajardo, who is out of the season on a shin injury.

San Miguel Beer losing the 6-foot-10, five-time PBA MVP Fajardo is equal to seeing LeBron James out of the Los Angeles Lakers for good.

If I were Slaughter, I’m going to give it a shot.

Hey, do I see SMB coach Leo Austria arranging a coffee date with Slaughter?

RSA would welcome that. Surely.