By Waylon Galvez
Is it Greg Slaughter or Scottie Thompson?
The decision whether the 7-foot Slaughter or combo-guard Thompson will take the place of injured RR Pogoy in the Gilas Pilipinas lineup for the 30th Southeast Asian Games will be made by coach Tim Cone either Monday night or in Tuesday’s basketball competition managers meeting.
“None yet,” said Gilas team manager Gabby Cui in a text message to The Bulletin.
The managers meeting is where teams can make replacements for injured players before final submission to the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee prior to the games at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Pogoy, who plays for TNT KaTropa, hurt his back during a PBA game last week.
Sources said Cone is taking his time to see who between Slaughter or Thompson would be a better fit for Gilas.
The logical choice may be to add Thompson, who plays the same position as Pogoy although the latter is more of a scorer while the former plays more at the point and likes to crash the board to get rebounds.
But the possibility of having another ‘big guy’ in Slaughter could prove irresistible to Cone despite having a frontline trio of 6-foot-10 center June Mar Fajardo, 6-foot-10 wingman Japeth Aguilar and 6-foot-8 power forward Christian Standhardinger.
With teams parading a naturalized player, including Indonesia with 6-foot-10 center Lester Prosper, the decision could have been already made for Cone.
Slaughter, however, is coming off a hand injury he suffered a few weeks ago that forced Cone to drop him from the Final 12.
Slaughter played last week in Barangay Ginebra San Miguel’s quarterfinal win over San Miguel Beer, and has rejoined practice session with Gilas along with Kings teammates Thompson and Art dela Cruz, also part of the national team training pool.
Two independent sources said Slaughter would be brought in for Pogoy.
After facing Singapore Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena, the national team takes on Vietnam on Friday and Myanmar on Saturday for preliminary Group A action. Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia are in Group B. (With a report from Tito Talao)