It's like a case of the best getting better as Barangay Ginebra, last year’s PBA Bubble champion, became even formidable more than a week before Draft Day.
The Gin Kings struck a deal with NorthPort, acquiring the Batang Pier’s biggest star—Christian Standhardinger—and shipping returning seven-foot big man Greg Slaughter to Rep. Mikee Romero’s franchise.
This was confirmed by the PBA in its official website, posting the deal was already approved by the Commissioner’s Office.
The Gin Kings won the championship inside the Bubble tournament in Clark without Slaughter, who sat out because of contractual issues. He returned to Ginebra’s camp in the off season before the deal was consummated and got approved by the Commissioner’s Office.
In getting Standhardinger, the Gin Kings will become even more formidable up front as the 6’8” center will join forces with 6’9” athletic forward Japeth Aguilar in creating the Ginebra’s newest version of twin towers.
For the Batang Pier, dealing Standhardinger to the Gin Kings was also the best option as the Fil-German player didn’t sign up his contract extension offer.
NorthPort management made this confirmation and reached a decision with Ginebra in swapping these two big men.
“It was a good trade, beneficial for both teams,” wrote NorthPort management in a release statement.
After seeing Standhardinger cracking the Mythical Team two years ago, the former Gilas Pilipinas standout had his share of struggles during last year’s bubble tournament. Coupled by the injury suffered by Sean Anthony, the team’s other star, the Batang Pier had an early exit in the Philippine Cup.
NorthPort felt Slaughter, who spent the past year working out in the United States while sitting out the PBA season, would fill in the big shoes left by Standhardinger.
The Batang Pier will also have a chance to bolster their roster even more as they have two first round picks in the coming draft—the No.2 pick where they are expected to select Fil-Am Jamie Malonzo and the No. 11 pick, which they can use for the best talent available.
“The team is thrilled to have him, knowing how hard he worked in the US to polish his game,” added the NorthPort managementm of Slaughter.