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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tough Choice: Greg Slaughter or Ian Sanggalang?

After securing the top pick in the draft lottery for the 2013 PBA Draft, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel is now faced with a dilemma on who to pick with the top pick: the 7'0" Gregory William Slaughter or 6'7" Ian Sanggalang. Both Ian and Greg are sought after big men who have proven themselves in the amateur ranks. So here is my take on Ginebra's dilemma.

Greg Slaughter

Should Barangay Ginebra tab Greg Slaughter with the first pick, it would be two years in a row that the tallest player in the draft will be picked first, and both have started playing their college careers in Cebu. A new chapter in the Junmar Fajardo-Greg Slaughter rivalry is about to be written.

The two-time CeSAFI Most Valuable Player has averaged 10.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 0.8 steals, and 1.8 blocks in 5 games for the NLEX Road Warriors in the recent PBA D-League Foundation Cup. He has also won titles with the University of the Visayas Green Lancers in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. and with the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles in the Universities Amateur Athletic Association of the Philippines.

Slaughter is the tallest player in the draft and as many would say, you just can't teach height, and although many would disagree, height will still be might in basketball. Skills-wise, Greg can keep up with the best of the bigs in the PBA, he has a decent shooting touch, admirable defensive skills, good court vision, his passing skills aren't bad. His experience training with the Smart Gilas pool recently is also valuable to his development as a player. But to me, Slaughter's biggest advantage is his greater potential for further development. 

Ian Sanggalang

It is almost certain that the 6'7" Ian Sanggalang will either be picked first or second, depending on whether Ginebra chooses him or not for the top pick. Should he end up second pick overall, it will also be the second year in a row that a San Sebastian College-Recoletos Stag will be picked second in the draft after the Alaska Aces picked Calvin Abueva last year after Petron Blaze tabbed Junmar Fajardo.

Sanggalang, the 2013 PBA D-League MVP helped the NLEX Road Warriors in the Aspirants' Cup. In the recent PBA D-League Foundation Cup, the 2012 NCAA Most Valuable Player averaged 14.33 points, 9.25 rebounds, 1 assist, 0.75 steals, and 0.92 blocked shots per game in 12 games for the EA Regen Meds Delta. He was part of the 2009 San Sebastian College-Recoletos team that won the National Collegiate Athletic Association basketball title, part of the potent combination they refer to as Pinatubo Trio alongside Calvin "The Beast" Abueva and Ronald Pascual.

Compared to Slaughter, Sanggalang can probably be considered more PBA-ready having played at a higher level of competition longer than Greg. Described as a big man who can run, Ian is the more agile of the two.

So Who Should Barangay Ginebra Pick?

If Ginebra wants a player they can utilize right away without lesser need to further develop, they would go for Ian Sanggalang. However, if Barangay Ginebra wants a player that they can develop for the long term but would not give away much in terms of readiness to play PBA basketball right away, Greg Slaughter is definitely the man to pick.

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