Winning the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup championship at the expense of powerhouse squad San Miguel Beer is satisfying for Barangay Ginebra slotman Greg Slaughter.
The 6-foot-11 center out of Ateneo said his spate of injuries the last two seasons, along with the team's bad start this conference, made the championship finish such a memorable one.
"It was tough after I tore my ACL. I missed a lot of opportunities and when we played San Miguel in the finals, we weren't able to beat them. I was out. And then last All-Filipino, I sprained my ankle, I didn't get lucky. But I'm glad we were able to be complete (the task) and win the championship," Slaughter said moments after Ginebra clobbered San Miguel, 93-77, in Game 6 to win the series, 4-2, Wednesday night.
Slaughter finished the series by scoring 13 points and nine rebounds, while drawing praise from Ginebra coach Tim Cone for his defense against June Mar Fajardo that changed the way San Miguel played in the title series.
"I think the difference maker, the guy that didn't really give a lot of credit to -- we did, but maybe not enough -- was Greg Slaughter," Cone said in the post-game press conference.
Still, the 30-year-old Ginebra big man refused to take sole credit for the Kings' success.
"We pulled this thing off as a team. We stepped up and played our role. We came out here and put aside our egos and played our roles, and now here we are," he stressed.
Ginebra won its first Commissioner's Cup title since 1997, when the franchise at the time was still mentored by then playing coach and now PBA legend Robert Jaworski, Sr.
Ironically, Cone was still coaching Alaska, which lost to the Ginebra franchise (Gordon's Gin Boars) 4-2 in the finals.
"It's been 21 years since we never won this championship. We were able to stop San Miguel's (finals) streak from going 7-of-7. They've been dominant," he added.