Greg Slaughter might not suit up for the upcoming game of the Philippine National Men’s Basketball team against Iran on Thursday, September 13, even after being allowed by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) to play as a local.
Interim national team head coach Yeng Guiao confirmed that Slaughter might not be included in the line-up of Team Pilipinas if the 7 ft. Filipino – American still cannot join practice upon their arrival at Tehran, Iran on Tuesday, September 11.
Slaughter is currently nursing an injury in his left ankle that had left him unable to join the recent practices of Team Pilipinas.
Guiao also said that they will decide on the final 12-man line-up for the Iran game based on the status of Slaughter, who they hope will be able to guard the 7 ft. 2 Hamed Haddadi.
“We are waiting for him to practice kaya hindi pa kami nagde-desisyon,” Guiao said following the practice of Team Pilipinas at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City on Monday, September 10.
“If he cannot practice on Tuesday, that means hindi siya puwede. Hindi naman siya pwedeng mag-practice lang siya ng isang araw tapos maglalaro na,” Guiao added.
The coaching staff and the player pool of Team Pilipinas will fly to Tehran this Monday evening.
After their September 13 game, Team Pilipinas will return to the Philippines to host a game against Japan at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Cubao on September 17.
During the weekend, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) received a letter from FIBA secretary general Patrick Baumann, saying that Slaughter can ‘play for the national team without restriction’.
Prior the said decision, FIBA only allowed Slaughter to play for the national team as a naturalized player similar to Stanley Pringle and Christian Standhardinger, who are also included in the 16-man player pool for the Iran game.
FIBA only allows two naturalized players to play for a single team.
Based on FIBA’s latest decision, the basketball organization cited three reasons including: Slaughter obtaining a Philippine passport when he was 17 years old, moving to the Philippines at the age of 19, and studying and playing in the Philippines for 11 years.