Greg Slaughter said on Tuesday night that he has already submitted the needed documents for eligibility as a local for Gilas Pilipinas.
With the papers submitted, he is optimistic that the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) would allow him to play as one of the national team’s homegrown players for the World Cup Qualifiers matches against Iran and Qatar later this month.
“I think I should be able to play,” Slaughter, who later said that he has “been in the Philippines basically my whole life,” told some reporters after team practice at the Meralco Gym in Pasig.
“Hopefully it will come back with a favorable response,” he added.
The Ginebra center’s eligibility kept Coach Yeng Guiao from naming his “Final 12” for the Sept. 13 road game in the Iranian capital of Tehran on Monday night.
The concurrent NLEX coach again kept mum about his Final 12 on Tuesday night as Gilas begins to wait for FIBA’s decision on Slaughter.
“Since na-submit na, wala na tayong magagawa except to wait (Since the documents have been submitted, there is nothing else we can do but to wait),” said Guiao.
He, however, somehow hinted that the seven-foot beanpole would be a shoo-in once he is cleared to play as a local, giving him an option to just choose between Stanley Pringle and Chris Standhardinger as Gilas’ naturalized player.
“If Greg can be categorized as a local, then that means it’s just a choice between Stanley and Christian. That makes it a little easier,” continued Guiao.
However, he’s also awaiting a separate decision on the case of Pringle.
“Hindi lang si Greg ang gusto natin maging local, pati si Stanley, kaya lang (It is not only Greg whom we want to become a naturalized player, also Stanley. But) I’m not sure if Stanley’s papers have already been submitted,” Guiao further said.
The Gilas pool had a lighter training on Tuesday, with the bulk of the playing time devoted for scouting Iran.
With Slaughter, Pringle, Standhardinger, Japeth Aguilar, Scottie Thompson, Marcio Lassiter, Alex Cabagnot, and Poy Erram — basically half of the national pool — playing in a Philippine Basketball Association twinbill currently ongoing as of posting, Guiao opted to give Gilas a day-off on Wednesday but will swing back to practice on Thursday night. (PNA)
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