Cone hopes to have Greg back soon
Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - February 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is resigned to the fact that they won’t get Greg Slaughter to suit up in the coming PBA Philippine Cup but hopes to have the seven-foot center back in the fold by the second conference.

“We texted a few times. He’s pretty adamant about his decision. He wants to take a break. I think it’s more of a mental break, and perhaps get himself right. But I do believe he’ll be back. I’m just not sure when,” said Cone.

“I hope it’s anytime soon but at the end of the day, we’re ready to play without him and hopefully he’ll be back by the second conference,” he added.

Slaughter announced he was taking a sabbatical after his contract with Ginebra lapsed last month. He belied raging talks it had something to do with a reported trade and him asking for outrageous demands for a renewal.

Ginebra reportedly has already given Slaughter an offer sheet and submitted a copy to the PBA, thereby keeping the rights to the 2013 top pick.

“Obviously we have a big hole in our team without him and we’re expecting it to be like that for the rest of the conference,” said Cone.

Additionally, veteran Joe Devance will miss the first part of the Philippine Cup as he undergoes stem cell treatment in Germany to fix his foot and knee issues.

“We’re also going to lose Joe (Devance) for about maybe a month starting March 7 so two big guys out of our lineup and that’s going to make it harder for us. But Japeth (Aguilar) is jumping to a whole new level and he showed that in our recent tuneup,” said Cone. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for Japeth to spread his wings. He always wants to play 38, 40 minutes a game and feels bad when I take him out. So he’s going to get that opportunity now.

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