FIBA: Baldwin says Slaughter welcome in Gilas, but…

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 15 2020 04:57 PM

Greg Slaughter last played for Gilas Pilipinas in the 2019 SEA Games. Greg Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- Greg Slaughter is always welcome to join the Philippine national team, but at the moment he first has to work out his situation with the "powers that be."

This was the clarification made by Gilas Pilipinas program director Tab Baldwin, as Slaughter's name has repeatedly come up when discussing the national team's roster for the upcoming November window of the FIBA Asia Cup 2021 qualifiers.

Baldwin has already confirmed that PBA players will not be called up to training camp as the Philippine Cup is ongoing, and they are likely to select collegiate players to the squad instead. 

But Slaughter, who played for the Philippines in the Southeast Asian Games and in the FIBA World Cup 2019 qualifiers, is also a candidate for the roster.

"I think Greg would be an asset," Baldwin said during a recent appearance on "Sports Page."

"We have been in touch with Greg, and I've seen some of his development by video, the work that he's doing in the States, and I think it's great," he added.

Slaughter left Barangay Ginebra in February, shortly after the team's triumph in the PBA Governors' Cup, to head back to the United States. There, he worked with an NBA scout to hone his skills while also signing with an international agency. 

He recently returned to the Philippines and got in touch both with Baldwin and the Barangay Ginebra management. The 7-foot slotman has also reiterated his willingness to represent the country again, after helping Gilas win the gold medal in the 2019 SEA Games last December.

"I certainly would welcome that," Baldwin said of Slaughter's commitment and participation. 

"But I don't think that's a done deal at this point. I think there are some extenuating circumstances there that need to be worked out by Greg and the powers that be that govern his situation right now," he added.

Slaughter himself has said that he hopes to sit down with Ginebra management soon to clarify his contract situation, after which he intends to talk with Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) and Baldwin. 

"As a national team, our arms are open to players that we believe can help us, but every player just can't walk in and out," said Baldwin. 

"It's just not that way, as I wish it was and probably a lot of people wish it was. But there are processes that have to be taken care of, and they have to be done correctly," he explained.

Baldwin assured that Slaughter's situation is being monitored by the federation, particularly coach Ryan Gregorio who is the special assistant to SBP president Al Panlilio.