Given the current global situation, Greg Slaughter’s move to improve away from the PBA raises questions on the need for the league to adapt.
It’s hard to buy the idea of giving more action to local big men, especially on the offensive end. I know June Mar Fajardo will dominate the paint the moment he comes back from injury and I guess “young” PBA players like Christian Standhardinger and Maurice Shaw will also lord the paint during All-Filipino conferences. But for as long as the league reinforces the teams with big imports, then it’s easy for teams to develop more Samigue Emans.
I can’t blame the league and the PBA teams though. After all, the reason why we pick big naturalized players is the same reason why teams pick imports that could score at least 20 points and pick at least 15 rebounds.
And Greg Slaughter is no slouch. Sure, it’s overkill to pit him with June Mar now because college is different from the pros but the former UV Lancer can still post generous numbers. It’s just that Justin Brownlee is a small forward in a squad that loves to run and gun. The mere fact that Tim Cone sports a zoo crew comprised of LA Tenorio, Stanley Pringle, and Scottie Thompson raising hell from point A to point B is something worth noting.
Basically, Slaughter can’t do much because Ginebra’s offense isn’t for him.
Anyway, Slaughter is already an old hand at 32… but not in the current PBA setup. PBA superstars call still ball way beyond 35 given their injury history and how their career turned out. Arwind Santos and Alex Cabagnot are about to turn 40 but their bodies are still in racing condition.
So yeah, there is still time for Slaughter to evolve.
But again, the PBA needs to protect the players.
I still think that the league imposing sanctions on the recent PBA draft snub of Thirdy Ravena is wrong. I also believe the special Gilas rounds are not ideal. No one expected the current outbreak but the 2016 PBA Draft thought us that PBA coaches will use the players beneficial to their success. I still think the draft wasted the careers of Arnold Van Opstal and Kevin Ferrer. Sure, Tim Cone transformed Ferrer into a better defender but now as part of the Northport Batang Pier, Ferrer’s offense is slowly returning to form.
As for AVO, San Miguel has a bad track record of developing young players… and it’s not even primarily their fault. They are winning championship after championship so the least of their concerns is trying to give time to a national team prospect. Before selecting Travis Thompson, Daniel de Guzman, and Von Tambeling in the 2019 PBA Draft, the Beermen have selected AND played the likes of Standhardinger, Louie Vigil, Van Opstal, Rashawn McCarthy, Michael Mabulac, and Sam Marata after selecting June Mar and Alex Mallari in the 2011 PBA Draft. While McCarthy managed to escape to the now TerraFirma Dyip, none of these players were able to escape the nightmare of getting selected to San Miguel.
If the league wanted to help the new players back in 2016, then all they needed to do is impose that the teams in dire need of win-loss improvements are the only teams to get the players.
I’m sorry… I returned to the 2016 PBA Draft… I can’t help it… that draft sucked big time.
And the 2019 Draft was kind of atrocious as well to the point that top amateurs or semi-pros would rather spend another year away from the PBA than test the waters.
With the current outbreak and the unsure situation of getting the nod to play in FIBA tourneys, special round draft pick Mike Nieto is going to be another player struggling for minutes in a Rain or Shine squad that already had the likes of Adrian Wong, Clint Doliguez, Prince Rivero, and Vince Tolentino trying to jockey their way for the playing time scraps left by the veterans.
I really believe that the best way for a player to train is by playing. Chris Tiu could have been a better PBA player if his career never went on limbo for about two years.
If the PBA just went on a regular draft, I bet Ferrer and Van Opstal could have played for a team that favored player development than championship glory.
If the PBA is like the NBA as far as free agency is concerned, then team managers would have gone to Florida to court Slaughter into signing a contract with them. The globalization of the game as well as the influx of sports shows visibly in Youtube makes what the Ginebra management did to his kind of low in a lot of aspects.
I mean Ginebra virtually let Slaughter run out his contract.
If Ginebra is an NBA team, then the GM would have been fired.
Not that Slaughter deserved a five-minute persuasion video but their bigwigs could have talked to him a couple of weeks before his contract expired.
Maybe a Ginebra commercial with the next Ginebra cover girl would have done the trick?
Free agents are entitled to sign to any place they want to but the PBA wouldn’t allow that. I guess the careers of Calvin Abueva, Terrence Romeo, Chris Lutz, and Chris Ellis serve as examples. Asi Taulava should have played his last season to a team that would at least give him a title… and not ask him to hit triples. The aforementioned Abueva could sign a team where he has teammates that could “police” him and Romeo could have played the field more. Ellis might be a spot monkey but his repertoire of moves can have a hefty price tag (or at least a minimum contract if he really wants to stay with the Gin Kings).
So Slaughter would rather train elsewhere than play in the PBA at the moment. Until Ginebra recognizes to give him what he wants or sends him to a team that would give him the best possible direction, I guess this is the right move for Gregzilla. I really think TNT wants him to be their next Ranidel De Ocampo or to finally give Norman Black the center that could pull Meralco out of gutter hell.
I know the free agency is about to change soon and the current crop of young players will benefit from it but I think the old guys also need to have a say.
For as long as the PBA can’t get with the times, the current setup of the league will continue to happen.