Greg Slaughter ruled eligible to play as local for Gilas Pilipinas

Gilas Pilipinas will bring 16 to Iran (0:56)

Yeng Guiao will bring 16 players from the Gilas Pilipinas pool to Tehran for their FIBA World Cup Asian Qualifiers match against Iran on September 13. (0:56)

Greg Slaughter has an even bigger reason to try and bounce back quickly from his ankle sprain as he was officially recognized as a local by FIBA.

"We are happy to announce to the entire basketball loving Filipinos that SBP's push to FIBA to prove that Greg Slaughter is a pure Filipino has been recognized," Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio said on Saturday.

"The SBP is elated with this development in our desire to come up with the best basketball roster for our flag and country. Mabuhay ang Pilipinas."

The Ginebra big man has missed the last two practices of Gilas Pilipinas after rolling his ankle in Ginebra's game against NorthPort on Wednesday. Slaughter clarified Thursday night that he intends to travel with the team to Iran whether he will be cleared by the doctors to play or not.

"Of course I'm going with them," he said. "I'm committed."

With the suspensions of Andray Blatche and Japeth Aguilar and the injury of June Mar Fajardo, Slaughter's presence is badly needed, especially against the hulking big man rotation of Iran centered on veteran big man Hamed Haddadi.

This development will also make it easier for coach Yeng Guiao to decide which player he will use as naturalized player.

Guiao said in past interviews that if Slaughter is allowed to play as a local, he is leaning towards Stanley Pringle cracking the lineup ahead of Filipino-German Christian Standhardinger.