For Greg and Chris, winning the championship is all that matters

October 11, 2017

Winning the championship more than capturing their first Best Player of the Conference award is what motivates both Greg Slaughter and Chris Newsome as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and Meralco face off for the second straight time in the PBA Governors' Cup Finals.

Slaughter and Newsome emerged as favorites to win the Best Player plum despite placing third and fourth, respectively, in the statistical race at the end of the Governors' Cup semifinals. And while flattered of having such distinction, the focus of the former Ateneo stars is to help their respective teams win the best-of-seven title series which starts Friday in Lucena City.

"Obviously, I haven't put much thought on it," Slaughter said after Tuesday's press conference at Sambokojin restaurant in Eastwood Libis.

"I think if anything, that goes to show how much team play comes to it, can't get any of these things without winning so just goes to show that winning is the No. 1 priority."

"It will be a bonus if any individual award comes along but my focus really is to win this championship in my first conference back with my team," added Slaughter, who compiled 32.625 Statistical Points after Ginebra's 3-1 series win over TNT KaTropa in the semis.

The 7-foot Slaughter averaged 14.7 points, 8.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.6 blocks in 16 games this conference, showing little to no signs of the injury that sidelined him for 10 months.

Newsome, on the other hand, had 30.875 SPs after posting 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 1.3 steals in 16 games this conference, helping the Bolts return to the finals for a shot at avenging last year's heartbreaking loss to Ginebra.

"The one thing that's important for me is making it back to the Finals," Newsome said. "Now my top priority is winning the Finals. The best player, it's always good to hear that you're part of the race. That means I'm playing at the level that I expect to be playing at. The individual accolade is not my top priority at the moment."

San Miguel's June Mar Fajardo remained on top of the BPC race with 38.455 SPs followed by TNT's Jayson Castro with 33.563 SPs. Both players, however, are out of the running after their teams failed to reach this point of the tournament.(JT)