WITH an eye on strengthening their respective line-ups in time for the coming opening of the 46th season of the PBA on April 9, Barangay Ginebra and NorthPort have agreed on another blockbuster one-on-one trade.
Almost a month before the PBA opening, the Gin Kings have decided to send comebacking center Greg Slaughter to the Batang Pier in exchange for Christian Standhardinger.
The PBA Commissioner’s Office approved the trade late Thursday.
The trade between Standhardinger, the 6-8 Fil-German who played a big role in NorthPort during the PBA Philippine Cup in Clark last year, and Slaughter, the 7-0 Fil-American who helped Ginebra win the PBA Governor’s Cup in 2019 before walking away from the league to go to the United States last year, is expected to fill in the needs of both teams.
“It’s another blockbuster swap of big men similar to the ones between Ramon Fernandez and Abet Guidaben, Jerry Codiñera and Andy Seigle and Marlou Aquino and Zandro Limpot in the past,” said one veteran PBA observer.
In a statement, the NorthPort management said “Standhardinger has yet to sign, thus forcing team officials to trade him to the league’s most popular ball club and acquire the comebacking former Ateneo standout.”
The management said: “It was a good trade, beneficial to both teams.”
Slaughter played his first six seasons with the Ginebra Kings but did not play in last season’s bubble which the team won at the expense of Talk N Text Tropang Giga.
NorthPort is excited to have Slaughter as the team’s spearhead as the Batang Pier intend to bounce back following a forgettable showing the last time.
“The team is thrilled to have him in the team, knowing he worked hard in the US to polish his game,” the team added.
Slaughter, nicknamed “Gregzilla” by PBA fans, returned to the country late last year and expressed his intention to rejoin the Gin Kings in the coming PBA conference.
Ginebra coach Tim Cone even confirmed that Slaughter has signed a new deal with the team and expects him to rejoin the team practices soon.
Earlier reports also said that the 32-year-old Slaugher was even seen doing some drills with his Ginebra partner Japeth Aguilar in a Ginebra practice facility a few weeks ago.
The Cleveland, Ohio-born Slaughter was the No. 1 overall draft pick by Ginebra in 2013 after spending his college days at the University of the Visayas from 2007-2009 and Ateneo de Manila from 2011 to 2012.
A four-time PBA champion and five-time PBA All-Star, Slaughter played a total of 211 games for Ginebra and averaged 13.8 points and 8.9 rebounds for the league’s most popular team in his last season with Ginebra.
With Ginebra, Slaughter earned one Best Player of the Conference award during the 2017 PBA Governors’ Cup.
Slaughter, who also signed with top European agency BeoBasket during his one-year PBA absence, averaged 9.8 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 0.9 blocks in 49 games in his last season with the Gin Kings.
Slaughter also confirmed the trade by thanking Barangay Ginebra officials and coaching staff through his social media account.
Under veteran coach Pido Jarencio at NorthPort, Slaughter will now join a Batang Pier team looking to bounce back from a forgettable season in the bubble.
Standhardinger, on the other hand, will form another version of the “Twin Towers” with new partner Aguilar.
Standhardinger was actually the No.1 pick of San Miguel Beer in 2017 before sending him to NorthPort in a trade for Moala Tautuaa in 2019
The 31-year-old native of Munich, Germany went undrafted in the 2014 NBA Draft before bringing his acts to the Beermen and later Batang Pier in the PBA.
A two-time PBA champion, Standhardinger averaged 14.2 points and 8.1 rebounds in 95 games in the PBA.
He had his best conference with NorthPort in the Angeles City bubble last year, averaging 19.9 points, a league-best 12.1 rebound. 3.8 assists and 1.3 steals.
He also made it to the PBA All-Defensive Team in Clark, Pampanga last year.Publication Source : People's Tonight