MANILA, Philippines – Ginebra center Greg Slaughter received a huge ovation when he started against the Meralco Bolts on Sunday, marking his first PBA game in almost a year.
The 7-foot behemoth scored the first two points of the game for Ginebra and submitted a solid performance with 14 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks in 30 minutes of playing time.
However, the Gin Kings sputtered in the second half against Meralco, and the Bolts wound up with 93-78 victory.
"I think we started out well," said Slaughter, who helped the Gin Kings take a 45-43 lead at the half. "But we kind of lost our chemistry in that second half."
"Chemistry" was the word of the day for Slaughter, who admitted that he is still trying to fit into what the Gin Kings were doing after missing a huge chunk of time due to injury.
"I think we just have some chemistry to figure out, you know?" said Slaughter. "I'm coming in after a year, and during that time, we really had a lot of success."
Indeed, even without Slaughter, the Gin Kings still managed to win a breakthrough championship in the 2016 PBA Governors' Cup Finals. They then made the Finals of the 2017 All-Filipino Cup, although they lost to San Miguel Beer in five games in that series.
In the Commissioner's Cup, they secured the No. 1 seed but lost in the semifinals against TNT KaTropa.
Slaughter said that given Ginebra's success without him, it is obvious that he is the one who needs to make adjustments.
"It's up to me to try to figure out how to fit in with everyone," he said. "We have a different style of play now.
"So I'm looking at how I can fit in, help everyone else, and complement our team to be better," he added.
The good news for Slaughter and Ginebra is that they will not play again until Sunday, giving them plenty of time to work on their chemistry issues before taking on the always-dangerous GlobalPort Batang Pier.
"I'm kind of happy that we got a week before our next game, because we need to get in there, try to figure out some things, need to talk some of my teammates and see how I can come in and try to help them," Slaughter said.
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