MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra governor Alfrancis Chua quashed rumors they were planning to trade Greg Slaughter before the 7-footer decided to take a break from the PBA and basketball.
After helping Ginebra capture the Governors' Cup title last year, rumors surfaced that Slaughter was being eyed as part of a deal that would send him to NorthPort in exchange for Christian Standhardinger.
Slaughter, though, surprised not just fans but also the team when he announced his hiatus on social media as his contract expired.
"If the news wasn't from us, don't believe it," Chua said in Filipino after the press conference for the 45th PBA season on Tuesday, February 25.
"When there are rumors like that, go to the PBA to see if we submitted a trade form. That's how simple it is."
Chua said Slaughter discussed his decision only with Ginebra coach Tim Cone during the "closeout" meeting and that the one-time Best Player of the Conference neither talked to him nor the team management.
While it was an unexpected turn of events, Slaughter was already old enough to control where his career is going, Chua added.
"No one's to question him, or me, why he did this, why he did that," Chua said. "He's at the right age to make decisions on what he wants."
Without Slaughter, it will be a tougher climb for Ginebra to rule the Philippine Cup, the only conference the team has not won under Cone.
But Chua was quick to remind Ginebra reigned supreme in the 2016 Governors' Cup even when Slaughter was sidelined due to a knee injury.
"I think Ginebra is ready because Ginebra won a championship with and without him. They've already experienced both," Chua said.
"We still have the same set of players. The veterans are still there so they know what adjustments to make."
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.