It seemed the entire local basketball scene was set abuzz about a week or so ago, when the news came out that a certain GREG SLAUGHTER was going to be playing for the University of Visayas in Cebu.
The reason for all that buzz, is simply because Slaughter stands at least 6’11”.
W/ the 7’0″ EJ Feihl near or at the retiring age, there would not have been any other Pinoy near the seven-foot range once he stops playing professional basketball …. until Greg Slaughter came along.
Most local basketball fans got so excited, that an important question almost got sidelined: Being a fil-am raised in the States, what’s he doing in Cebu?
There are dozens of schools in the US NCAA who could’ve used his height. If not a Division I school, then a Division II. Or even a Division III school.
By his account, he supposedly nearly made it to a Division I school, but “…it just didn’t work out…”, or something to that effect.
Okay, then. But what about the other lower Division schools there? He should’ve gotten at least a couple of offers from different schools.
That sort of issue would’ve been easily overlooked, were it not for the fact that the UV Coaching staff’s defensive posture in terms of Slaughter’s debut in local basketball.
There was to be a mini-tournament between Cebuano & PBL teams recently, & one of the coaches of the Cebuano teams sort of asked if Slaughter can play in this mini-tournament. Slaughter’s new Coach Boy Cabahug, though, didn’t agree, citing that, “… he is still too young for the tournament …”
A couple of days later, when the new SEA games lineup was being announced, Slaughter’s name again came up. This time, it was Junel Baculi (who I assume is connected to UV, probably as an Asst. Coach) who now repeated the same excuse about Slaughter being “…still too young …” for such competitions.
Now, I don’t buy that excuse, because at 19 years old, Slaughter should’ve been ready for competitive basketball at the local tournament or SEA level.
Just across town there in Cebu is an even younger, 6’8″ player named Junmar Fajardo, who, despite being a rookie in collegiate basketball & only 17 years old, is already able to keep up w/ Cebu’s veteran “name” Centers like Rino Berame.
A 17 or 18 year old Benjie Paras right away established his presence in the UAAP on his rookie year playing for UP.
So both Cabahug & Baculi’s excuse, clearly has very little validity. So why all the delaying tactics by his new coaches?
‘The Next EJ Feihl?’
The lack of interest by US NCAA schools, & the UV coaching staff’s delaying tactics seem to indicate that Slaughter might not really be the kind of player most local basketball fans initially hoped he is.
Am willing to bet, that the guy is basically just a younger version of EJ Feihl: Slow, w/ very limited coordination, resulting in very limited effectiveness as a Center.
The coaching staff are probably trying to buy as much time for Slaughter as possible, so that he can cram more on training (they even bought in the legendary “El Presidente”, Ramon Fernandez to personally tutor him), hoping improve enough to be a respectable Center by the time the CESAFI season opens.
I could be wrong, though. Maybe the coaching staff just wanted to keep him from possible injury, and/or to keep the opposing college teams there in Cebu guessing until the competition starts.
Whatever it is, we will know for sure come August, when the Cebu collegiate season starts, & like it or not, Slaughter will have to show what he’s really got to the local basketball scene.