Personally, I’m surprised to hear the trade rumors surrounding Chris Ellis, Barangay Ginebra’s high-flying rookie, a few weeks back.
Considering the things he has brought to the team this season – his athleticism, his defense, his desire to grow as another offensive option, and numerous other intangibles that excites the legion of Ginebra fans, hearing his name dragged into the conference-break trade rumor mill certainly comes as a surprise.
No wonder, as I read some of the die-hard Ginebra fans responses on the Ellis trade rumor via Twitter and Facebook, it was obvious for them to voice out their disgust and were upset.
But after seeing San Miguel Corp. sports consultant Noli Eala’s tweet, declaring that Ellis “is one of Ginebra’s building blocks for the future” and therefore, have no intention of trading him, that pretty much puts to rest the rumor surrounding the Ginebra freshman forward out of Mary Liarden Baylor.
For the 6’5” Ellis, this year’s new PBA Slam Dunk champion, he has somehow taken the trade rumor calmly.
“Well, it is what it is. I’ve heard of those (trade) rumors, but I’ll just try to stay focused and hope for the best. Management and some of my teammates have been telling me to make sure I’ll be there in practice,” said Ellis, who averaged 8.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 41 games for Barangay Ginebra this season.
Elis has emerged as a solid contributor for the Gin Kings both on offense and defense that allowed the pro league’s most popular ball club to reach the Commissioner’s Cup Finals after overcoming a 0-4 start.
Barangay Ginebra though came up short in the best-of-five championship series after falling to the Alaska Aces, 3-0.
Though they fell short, Ellis said he is upbeat for the season-ending PBA conference with Japeth Aguilar, another high-flying big man finally in tow after months of trade talks surrounding the former Ateneo big man.
Globalport finally shipped the 6’9” Aguilar to the Gin Kings last June in exchange for rookie big man Yousi Taha and Barangay Ginebra’s 2013 PBA draft pick.
With Aguilar expected to add defensive presence and rebounding, the Gin Kings appear as the early favorites for the Governors Cup.
The entry of import Dior Lowhorn also boosts the Gin Kings’ frontline. The 6’5” Lowhorn played for the Heat in the recent 4th Asean Basketball League season won by San Miguel Beer.
Lowhorn sustained a knee injury, which prevented him from finishing his stint with the Heat. But prior to the injury, the former University of San Francisco alumnus was averaging 26.67 points and 8.42 rebounds.