Over the past few days, Gilas Pilipinas had been struggling to find a big man who can fill the shoes of Angelo Kouame.
In the final game of the 2023 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers’ first round, the Philippines only fielded 10 healthy bodies.
But prior to their game against New Zealand last Friday, Gilas program director Chot Reyes had been burning the lines in search of a big man.
And some of the players he called were the likes of Mason Amos and Greg Slaughter.
It is unknown whether FIBA cleared Amos as a local. But for Slaughter’s end, he declined the invitation.
And it’s because the 34-year-old big man shared that it was because of him having previous commitments he could not cancel.
“I reached out to Coach Chot [Reyes] back in April asking to play for Gilas but he only reached out a few days before the games,” Slaughter told Tiebreaker Times.
“Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it anymore by the time they let me know.”
Slaughter is currently a restricted free agent in the PBA after opting not to re-sign with Northport when his contract expired last February 1.
The former PBA Best Player of the Conference has been keeping in shape as he is working with a 16-year NBA veteran trainer.
Still, Slaughter, whose last Gilas appearance was back in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, is grateful for the callup and said that he is committed to the national team.
“I’m glad we are communicating now and have told them I would love to play in the SEA Games and World Cup next year.”