Japan B. League

Greg Slaughter finds Japan stint ‘very peaceful’ after messy PBA exit

Philip Matel

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Greg Slaughter finds Japan stint ‘very peaceful’ after messy PBA exit

HIGH SPIRITS. Greg Slaughter high-fives a young fan before a Japan B. League game.

JAPAN B. LEAGUE

After a basketball hiatus and a rough PBA exit, former Ginebra standout Greg Slaughter enjoys a career reboot in the Japan B. League

OKINAWA, Japan – Greg Slaughter may not have had the PBA exit he wanted, but it’s all good now for the former Ginebra star.

Slaughter, now playing for Division 2 team Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka in Japan, raved about the much more “peaceful” working environment in the B. League.

“It’s great. It’s all we do – just play,” Slaughter told Rappler during an interview opportunity in the recent Japan B. League All-Stars

“It’s a long season… we’ve got about 60 games, practices [take] a long time, [there are] back-to-back games, at that. To me, it’s every basketball player’s dream.”

Slaughter took a hiatus from the PBA in February 2020, less than a month after winning the Governors’ Cup championship with Ginebra. 

By then, Slaughter’s contract had expired and the 7-foot slotman decided to train in the United States instead.

Slaughter eventually returned to the Philippines, signed a new contract with Ginebra in February 2021, but got immediately traded to NorthPort for Christian Standhardinger.

The former PBA Rookie of the Year claimed he even asked the Ginebra camp “if the trade rumors were true and was told they were not.”

In July 2022, Slaughter passed up on NorthPort’s contract extension offer to join the B. League.

Slaughter played only four games In his final conference with NorthPort, norming 14.3 points, 9.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. 

“Well yeah, very peaceful. Especially just having my family here now,” he said of his new Japan life. 

“[It’s] probably a big difference for me – my playing years now, compared to a few years ago,” added Slaughter, who won four titles with Ginebra, a First Mythical Team selection in 2015, and a Best Player of the Conference award in 2017.

Slaughter thinks the move did him good.

“A lot [more] comfortable with the environment, knowing things, and just being used to the travel,” he said. 

After a woeful 20-40 record last season, Slaughter and the Rizing Zephyr continued to climb the standings this year, enjoying a third-best record with a 21-10 card.

Slaughter credited the improvement to a roster overhaul as Fukuoka aims to move up to Division 1 next year by reaching the championship round.

“It’s big… just changing countries and settling in… having my family settled,” said Slaughter. – Rappler.com 

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