Greg Slaughter declined to play for Gilas-Pilipinas, but now he has a chance to face them in a high-profile match.
This was made possible after "Gregzilla" has been voted by fans to start for the PBA All-Stars when they face Gilas-Pilipinas in the 2014 PBA All-Star festivites in the first week of April.
The Ginebra towering rookie, along with San Miguel swingman Marcio Lassiter, found himself in the middle of a controversy over his decision to withdraw from the national team pool.
The 6-11University of Cebu standout was in fact the leading vote-getter in the balloting done online and in venues of league games with 61,800 votes. Slaughter's name was put on the ballot because he was not yet named to the Gilas pool by national coach Chot Reyes when the voting started.
"I'm very honored and thankful because the fans voted for that," said Slaughter. "It's a great honor that the fans voted for me and made me the top vote-getter."
"It's a basketball game, like everybody else. I'll go out there and play and give the fans a good game," he said after being asked if he'll give Gilas a good exercise in the four-day mid-season festivities beginning on April 3.
Joining the top pick overall in this year's draft in the PBA All-Stars' starting frontline by Ginebra's Chris Ellis, who was second in the balloting with 44,630 votes and his teammate Mac Baracael with 33,756 votes. Barocca leading the backcourt On the other hand, San Mig rising star Mark Barroca's popularity soars after winning the Philippine Cup's Finals' MVP.
The Coffee Prince was the leading vote-getter among the guards with 38,268 points for his second All-Star appearance, surprisingly beating out more popular teammate James Yap who garnered 38,260 votes.
The All-Star start, however, will be more significant for Yap since the two-time league MVP is in line for his 11th All-Star appearance, which would put him in second place in the league record books in a tie with Jerry Codinera and Dondon Hontiveros of Alaska.
Alvin Patrimonio and Asi Taulava are the only players with more All-Star stints with 12 apiece, although the Air21 slotman has a chance for an all-time record 13th if he is named among the reserves in this year's showpiece.
Votes from PBA coaches will decide the reserves of the All-Star team. Expect another exciting and down to wire All-Star game with the Gilas-Pilipinas getting featured to face the PBA-Stars again. Last year's All-Star also featured the same event. --- with reports from Spin.ph
Gregzilla vs Gilas-Pilipinas; Marc Barocca beats teammate James Yap in top backcourt votes for the 2014 PBA All-Star
Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on