Black praises Slaugh­ter to high heav­ens

Manila Bulletin - - Sports -

Mer­alco coach Nor­man Black nod­ded his head af­ter be­ing re­minded of the task con­tain­ing Barangay Gine­bra San Miguel’s 7-foot cen­ter Greg Slaugh­ter days be­fore the PBA Gov­er­nors’ Cup Fi­nals be­gan Fri­day night in Lu­cena City.

“It’s gonna be dif­fi­cult. He’s 7-foot and he’s tal­ented,” Black said af­ter Tues­day’s pre-Fi­nals press con­fer­ence at Sam­boko­jin res­tau­rant in East­wood Libis.

Five years ear­lier, it was Black who was en­joy­ing the lux­ury of us­ing Slaugh­ter to frus­trate ri­val teams as they teamed up to give the Ate­neo Blue Ea­gles their fifth straight UAAP crown.

Now on op­po­site sides, Black can only hope that the Bolts get the job done of at least lim­it­ing Slaugh­ter’s im­pact in their rematch with the Gin Kings.

“He’s a high-per­cent­age player around the bas­ket, he knows how to make shots around the bas­ket, he’s a good of­fen­sive re­bounder, and he knows how to fin­ish his plays. It’s gonna be very dif­fi­cult for us,” added Black.

Slaugh­ter, who played for the Blue Ea­gles in 2011 and 2012, is ea­ger to make it even harder for his for­mer men­tor.

“I would love to give him noth­ing but problems, headaches and sleep­less night,” Slaugh­ter said while laugh­ing.

Slaugh­ter was a shock ad­di­tion to an al­ready-stacked Ate­neo squad fol­low­ing a dec­o­rated ca­reer with Univer­sity of the Visayas in the Cebu Schools Ath­letic Fed­er­a­tion Inc. (CE­SAFI), be­com­ing the fo­cal point of Black’s of­fen­sive schemes.

Team­ing up with Kirk Long, Juami Tiong­son, Ryan Bue­nafe, Nico Salva and Kiefer Ravena, Slaugh­ter helped com­plete the Blue Ea­gles’ five-peat with ti­tle vic­to­ries over the Far East­ern Univer­sity Ta­ma­raws in 2011 and Univer­sity of Santo To­mas Growl­ing Tigers in 2012, es­tab­lish­ing them­selves as one of col­le­giate bas­ket­ball’s great dy­nas­ties.

—JONAS TERRADO

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