The last time Greg Slaughter wore the national jersey was early in
2013. He was a part of the first line-up of Smart Gilas back in
December of 2008 under Rajko Toroman where he was a part of a team
composed of collegiate standouts.
After finishing his college career with Ateneo and going to the PBA
with Barangay Ginebra, the seven-foot center out of Virginia, USA
spoke about being invited once more to the national pool.
Slaughter: A few months ago, I was hearing I was going to get called
up for one of the windows. I thought that it was going to be the last
one where we played Australia at home, but it didn’t happen. You hear
rumors but that’s just it – hear say. But I’m just here – waiting for
that call up.
Let me just say that when I was with the original Gilas team under
Coach Rajko, it was a great time. We weren’t able to achieve much, but
that team did change the way we prepare for the national team.
When (PBA Commissioner) Willie Marcial told me that I was included in
the line-up of Coach Yeng, now I had a good reason to be happy. Just
to be invited once more in the pool is a great honor.
Watching from afar how the national team would do from Fiba Asia to
the World Cup to the Olympic Qualifiers – all their games, I always
hope for the best for them. I have some former teammates there (Japeth
Aguilar and lately, Chris Tiu who was in the Asian Games) and you
always cheer for them and everyone else.
The national team practices are just different. Everyone elevates
their game. You feel the intensity, determination, and dedication of
everyone. You have the best players scrimmage and playing. So you have
to be on their level or higher.
If I get lined up, I look forward to reacquainting myself with Iran
(the next window). I played against Hamed Haddadi, Bahrami, Kamrany. I
know some of them aren’t there, but Haddadi is still there. I like to
think I have learned a lot since the early days of the program. To
play high pressure games with Ateneo and Ginebra under great coaches
like Norman Black and Tim Cone is a great experience. I am looking
forward to putting all of that into good use if given the chance.
I know we don’t have the time to work on chemistry, but all we can do
is our very best.