Greg Slaughter declines invite to Gilas pool: ‘FIBA Asia squad should represent country in World Cup’

Rey Joble, · Friday, March 7, 2014 · 7:16 pm
Sports5/Paolo Papa
Sports5/Paolo Papa

Barangay Ginebra rookie center Greg Slaughter knows the sacrifice it takes to represent the Philippines as part of the national team.

And according to the PBA’s gentle giant, that sacrifice should be rewarded.

So when the 7-foot center received the invitation to join the Gilas Pilipinas pool to the World Cup, Slaughter decided he would rather step aside and let Gilas’ dirty dozen – the 12-man team that represented the country in last year’s FIBA Asia Championship – finish the job they started this coming August in the FIBA World Cup in Spain.

“I’m here to say that I’m not joining the Gilas invitation. I’m very honored to be selected,” said Slaughter in a press conference.

“I think the thing they’ve started back in August, they’ve won that just with their puso. I think those 12 should be the ones that should represent the country in Spain.”

For Slaughter, he wouldn’t feel comfortable with coming in and taking someone’s spot on the team.

“Originally, I thought that these 12 are gonna be the ones to go to Spain. I didn’t know there’s gonna be any additions until I saw articles saying that a few more players were added,” he added.
Slaughter said he already had a conversation with Gilas Pilipinas coach Chot Reyes, whom he informed of his decision right away.

“He was the first person I’ve talked to about it. Me and Coach Chot go back a long way. We’ve been originally with the Gilas. He was even my teacher at Ateneo, so he was the first person I’ve talked to about it,” he added.

Slaughter was one among the handful of players included in the national team pool, along with Marcio Lassiter of San Miguel Beer, Jared Dillinger of Meralco, and Paul Lee of Rain or Shine.

But the Ginebra rookie slotman isn’t closing the doors to representing the country in future international tournaments just like he did the past four years where he represented the original SMART-Gilas national squad coached by Rajko Toroman and the Sinag Pilipinas team of coach Norman Black.

“Any future national teams after the World Cup, I will be more than willing to play,” he added.

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