February 16 ------ GREG Slaughter could well afford to retire and give up basketball if that's what it will take to avoid being used by Barangay Ginebra as a trade bait. A person close to the seven-foot center said Slaughter was left with no other recourse but to take a playing sabbatical after all avenues failed in the big man’s effort to prevent his reported trade to NorthPort. After bidding Ginebra goodbye in an Instagram post where he announced a break from the game on Saturday night, Slaughter is considering all options - including leaving basketball for good, the source said.
“Greg has a college degree and a fallback if ever he decides to retire for good,” said the source. “And yung father and mother niya are both engineers. Kaya I don’t think the financial issue would be a problem for him.” While not directly admitting that the reported trade for Christian Standhardinger had something to do with the shocking move made by the Ginebra big man, the same person said the 31-year-old center was obviously slighted by what awaited him in the only franchise he has played for in the PBA shortly after his contract expired. “It was a leverage for him,” added the source of Slaughter’s decision to take a leave from basketball.
As it is, the Kings’ grand plan for the coming 45th season of the league where they are eyeing to spoil reigning champion San Miguel’s bid to win a sixth straight Philippine Cup championship has suddenly been thrown into disarray. SPIN.ph also received unconfirmed reports that Slaughter has left for the US shortly before posting on his Instagram account his decision to take a break, sparking speculation that he might not return to the country anytime soon.
Coach Tim Cone, who admitted being told by Slaughter about his decision during the Kings’ exit interview shortly after the team won the Governors' Cup, plans to talk to the big man and his agent about the matter. The multi-titled coach has been the one solely responsible for Slaughter being kept by the team amid previous talks about Ginebra management ready to deal the Fil-Am big man out of Ginebra. Sources also told SPIN.ph that Slaughter’s reported move to NorthPort will just be a short stopover as he’ll eventually be shifted to one of Ginebra’s two sister teams, namely San Miguel or Magnolia.