There was no such thing as first-“Finals” jitters for Greg Slaughter.
Friday night was the four-year pro’s first-ever appearance in the big dance. And he felt neither nervous nor anxious, even with a jampacked Lucena Convention Center in Quezon.
“No, not really [nerves]. I didn’t feel too much pressure,” said the 28-year-old after Barangay Ginebra’s 102-87 win over Meralco Bolts. “We played a good team game today, played good team defense. Everyone chipped in and did their part.
“I’m just glad we got the win.”
Slaughter will surely draw high reviews after Game One, finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds, and two blocks in 21 minutes of action. And the first to commend him was second-year head coach Tim Cone.
“Greg was the real difference for us tonight,” lauded Cone of his seven-foot big man.
But the series, as cliché as it may sound, still has a long way to go. Slaughter has yet to prove if he will be a hit or miss.
But for the seven-foot behemoth, he is leaving everything to the multi-titled mentor.
“We’ll see with coach Tim [will do for adjustments],” said the Cleveland, Ohio born Slaughter. “We only got one day to turn around, the good thing about winning is they (Meralco) are the ones that have to adjust to us.
“We can improve on our game plan but being up gives us the advantage because the loser has to adjust to the winner.”