As much as FIBA’s clearance of Greg Slaughter brought a huge sigh of relief to him and the whole Philippine Men’s National Basketball Team, that doesn’t guarantee that the huge cloud of uncertainty has faded away.
National team head coach Yeng Guiao admitted that he is extremely worried about Slaughter, no thanks to the ankle injury he sustained during the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s match against the NorthPort Batang Pier last Wednesday.
Slaughter left that match with 5:49 left to play with 18 points and nine rebounds. His Gin Kings won, 104-98, for a 3-0 start in the 2018 Governors’ Cup.
With Slaughter in such a tough situation right now, the veteran mentor stressed that he might not recover in time for the Filipino dribblers’ 2018 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers match with continental powerhouse Iran.
“Yun ang worried ako. Paalis na kami bukas [for Iran]. That means kung maka-ensayo man siya, isa o dalawang beses. I don’t know if that’s going to be sufficient for him to make a significant contribution,” shared Guiao.
“Baka mamaya, ‘di na siya umabot. That’s just my feel.”
Since hurting his ankle, Slaughter has missed all of the team’s practices, though he makes a point to show up. The Cebuano was also on the sidelines on Sunday, when the Nationals played a tune-up versus the iECO Green Warriors.
“Although he does not miss practice. He’s always here. He sees what’s happening. In his mind, I think he knows the plays. But I think iba yung nasa utak mo lang, iba yung ginawa mo ng actual,” said Guiao.
“So, I’m really worried.”