MANILA, Philippines -- NorthPort big man Greg Slaughter is dealing with some hip soreness but is not injured, assured interim coach Bonnie Tan.
Slaughter did not play in the Batang Pier's 96-94 triumph over NLEX on Sunday, their third consecutive victory in the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.
"May kaunting pain sa hips, pero… okay naman (siya)," Tan said of Slaughter, who is averaging 13.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in four games for the Batang Pier.
"We decided to sit him muna para sa mga next games namin," he added.
NorthPort's game against NLEX on Sunday was their third in four games, as the Batang Pier did not play at all last week in accordance with the league's health and safety protocols.
While they missed his interior presence, Slaughter's absence may have been a blessing in disguise for NorthPort, Tan also said.
"Ang game preparation nila for sure, it's 80% siguro with Greg. So baka naka-help 'yun. Pero we missed his rebounding," he added.
Slaughter is expected to return to action in the coming week, with NorthPort anticipating another packed schedule in the Philippine Cup.
The Batang Pier has played only seven games so far in the conference, tied for second fewest along with Meralco. Only Alaska has played fewer games, with six. Both the Aces and the Bolts did not see action this week over health and safety protocols.
Tan said they fully understand if they end up playing a compressed schedule again.
"Definitely, we support 'yung schedule ng PBA, kasi lahat ng teams dito nagsa-sacrifice. So ayaw din naman nating maiwan 'yung isang team, na mahaba 'yung hinahabol or nade-delay 'yung league. So, whatever the PBA schedules sa atin, we'll take it," he said.