The PBA continues to be deprived of a series headlined by June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter
For four years and counting, basketball fans have salivated at the thought of having a series that featured 6-foot-11 June Mar Fajardo and the San Miguel Beermen go up against 7-foot Greg Slaughter and the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel.
And during San Miguel head coach Leo Austria’s post-game conference after winning their third straight Philippine Cup crown, the inner fan in him said that he, too, wanted the two big men to figure in a series.
“I’m sad with Slaughter dahil I think ito ang hinihintay nila na face-to-face with June Mar in a series, kaya lang hindi pa nangyari,” the four-time PBA champion coach lamented.
During the 2016 Governors Cup semifinals and this season’s Philippine Cup Finals, the Beermen and the Gin Kings faced off in a series. However, Slaughter was not available, as he is still sidelined from an right ACL injury he sustained last September.
Fajardo feels that the series would have been different if Slaughter had been there to check him. During the Finals, the five-time Best Player of the Conference posted norms of 15.6 points on 68.75 shooting, 10.4 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks. And he knows that it would have been tough to reach those numbers if a seven-footer were there to challenge him on the post.
“Siguro ‘pag nandoon si Greg mas mahirap,” the 27-year-old shared.
The Cebuano admitted that fellow Gilas pool member Japeth Aguilar had already given him fits during the series as he struggled to contain 6-foot-9 forward.
“Kay Japeth pa lang, hirap na hirap na ako eh. Sobrang athletic ni Japeth. Ang dami nyang blocks, dinadakdakan pa ako,” Fajardo quipped about Aguilar, who had norms of 15.6 points on 37.04 percent shooting and 8.8 rebounds during the series.
“Sobrang pag nandoon pa si Greg, maiiba ang series.”
But even if they won the championship in just five games, Austria, on behalf of the San Miguel Beermen, sent well-wishes to Slaughter, hoping for his quick recovery.
“Greg, get well soon dahil kailangan ka ng liga, kailangan ka ng team mo. We’re very happy kung naglalaro ka.”