MANILA, Philippines – Finally, it's official.
After days of hustling for eligibility papers, FIBA, the world governing body for basketball, has cleared Filipino-American big man Greg Slaughter to play as a local in the 2019 FIBA World Cup fourth qualifying window for Gilas Pilipinas.
This means that coach Yeng Guiao will just have to choose between NorthPort's Fil-Am stud Stanley Pringle and steady Filipino-German big Christian Standhardinger of San Miguel as the naturalized player for the Iran game on Thursday, September 13.
"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," said Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio.
"The SBP is elated with this development in our desire to come up with the best basketball roster for our flag and country."
FIBA recognized the eligibility documents the Barangay Ginebra player presented, including a Philippine passport obtained "shortly after the age of 16."
"We have taken note of the fact that the Player is claiming to have acquired the legal nationality of Philippines before the age of 16 but has failed to present the respective passport with a date of issue before his sixteenth birthday."
FIBA has also taken into consideration that Slaughter has moved to the Philippines in 2007 at the age of 19 and has studied and played basketball in the country for the last 11 years.
The 7-foot Slaughter is expected to match up against former NBA player and 7-foot-2 Iranian giant Hamed Haddadi once his left ankle sprain heals up. – Rappler.com