• Ginebra upbeat even without Slaughter

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    Grand slam coach Tim Cone of Barangay Ginebra believes the Gin Kings could compete for a title in the upcoming Philippine Basketball Association Season 41 Governors’ Cup even without injured slotman Greg Slaughter.

    Cone, who steered Alaska and Purefoods Star Hotshots to grand slam titles before arriving to Ginebra last year, said they hired former Talk ‘N Text import Paul Harris as Ginebra’s reinforcement in the third conference.

    The 2013 top overall pick Slaughter is nursing an ankle injury and will be out for months to recuperate. He was also out in Gilas Pilipinas national team.

    The former Ateneo De Manila University big man underwent a surgery in May.

    But Cone said there is a possibility for Slaughter to suit up in the latter part of the elimination round.

    Slaughter averaged 20.2 points along with 11.9 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the Commissioners’ Cup.

    “We hope to get Greg [Slaughter] late in the elimination round and we are hoping he will be in full strength entering the playoffs,” Cone told The Manila Times via text message on Sunday. “But even without Greg, we feel we have enough to compete for a championship. Our import is Paul Harris, a former Talk ‘N Text import.”

    Besides Harris, Ginebra will lean on Chris Ellis, veteran Mark Caguioa, Japeth Aguilar, Solomon Mercado, LA Tenorio, rookie Earl Scottie Thompson, Dave Marcelo, Jervy Cruz and Joe Devance.

    The Governors’ Cup will open tentatively on July 15.

    JOSEF T. RAMOS

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