Certainly, this is a good news for the basketball-loving nation as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel big-man Greg Slaughter was given a green signal by FIBA to play as a local for Gilas Pilipinas.
The decision was released by the FIBA world governing body last September 7 addressed to Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Executive Director Sonny Barrios.
That letter gave team Philippines a big boost as they prepared themselves for their upcoming game against team Iran for the next round of the 2019 FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.
That match will happen in Iran soil and against the towering presence of Hamed Haddadi.
“After a thorough review of the documentation by (the SBP), FIBA exceptionally authorizes Gregory William Slaughter to play for the Philippine national team without restriction,” mentioned on the letter and was signed by FIBA Secretary-General Patrick Baumann.
The man who is also known as the “GregZilla” in the PBA was pumped up with the news now that it’s completely certain that he will be part of the team that will be sent to Tehran, Iran.
“Couldn’t be happier about this, thank you to SBP and FIBA for paving the way,” said Slaughter via his Twitter account. “I’m looking forward to beginning a wonderful journey with the national team.”
I just found out FIBA has approved my eligibility as a local! Couldn’t be happier about this, thank you to SBP and FIBA for paving the way. I’m looking forward to beginning a wonderful journey with the national team. Para sa bayan! 🇵🇭
— Greg Slaughter (@GWillSlaughter) September 8, 2018
Likewise, the head of Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Al Panlilio is also thrilled with the results of Slaughter’s application after he submitted all of the documents required by FIBA.
“The SBP is elated with this development in our desire to come up with the best basketball roster for our flag and country,” said Panlilio.
Greg Slaughter was at the FCL Center in Xavierville Avenue when he first learned about the decision. He was present in the gym but was in the sidelines for three days now due to a minor injury he got during the Ginebra vs NorthPort match last Friday.
The 7-foot giant accidentally stepped on Sean Anthon’y foot as they fought for a rebound. Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone immediately pulled out Slaughter from the game and didn’t return until the game has ended.
Prior to the FIBA letter, Gilas head coach Yeng Guiao was pondering who will to pick from Christian Standhardinger, Stanley Pringle and Greg Slaughter to be the team’s naturalized player. Andray Blatche who took that slot earlier unable to suit up with the team as he is among those Gilas players who got slapped with game suspension after they got involved with a brawl against the team Australia last July.
Greg Slaughter’s FIBA Clearance To Play As Local
— ESPN5 (@Sports5PH) September 8, 2018
Now, coach Yeng decision making will be much more easier compared to earlier. There are reports that in game against Iran, Christian Standhardinger will be the choosen naturalized player and against team Qatar it’ll be Stanley Pringle.
Both Pringle and Standhardinger are with the team Philippines participating in their practice games.
Having a clearance from FIBA, Slaughter is looking forward to banner the Philippine flag in each of the Gilas games in the future. The best part of it, there’s a possibility that he will team-up with PBA four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo.
“Right now I’m really happy with the eligibility (issue) cause now I know that in the future and for the rest of my career, I look forward to playing on the national team every opportunity I have,” he said.