10 September 2014

Is It Really A Done Deal With Banchero?

Chris Banchero
Before he finally signed with Alaska Aces, Chris Banchero was one of the hottest topics in online local basketball forums.

The fifth overall pick in the last rookie draft was reported to be stalling in order to negotiate for a much bigger take home pay from the Aces. As one of the top prospects in the draft, Banchero is eligible to receive the maximum contract as mandated by the league, a monthly pay of PhP 150,000 in the first year, PhP 225,000 in the second year and PhP 337,500 in the third year of playing professionally.

However, sources reveal that the Fil-Italian point guard is asking for additional perks, including car and condominium subsidies. Banchero allegedly is renting a luxurious dwelling unit at The Fort that costs around PhP 60,000 a month. He was also reported to be the sole breadwinner for his girlfriend and child.

Nevertheless, Banchero's agent, Marvin Espiritu said as far as they are concerned, the incoming freshman guard out of Seattle Pacific University is still with the Aces. He also dispelled rumors that the cat-quick player is being groomed to be traded after negotiation with the Uytengsu company bogged down.

"Kami, we're just waiting for (Alaska team manager) Dickie Bachmann's arrival from Spain, eh si Chris naman, he's not looking into those trade rumors dahil napa-practice pa rin siya with Alaska," Espiritu told Spin.ph.

It will be recalled that reports came out a few days ago alleging that the 6-foot guard could be traded to the Meralco Bolts in exchange for the Bolts’ high-flying swing man Rey Guevarra and their 2015 first round pick.

Espiritu said his ward remains committed to Alaska, a team that is rich in championship tradition, having won 14 league titles since joining Asia's firs pro league in 1986.

Compton said Banchero is a good addition to the Aces, noting his speed and ability to penetrate to the basket as something that can add value to an Alaska squad that is in the hunt for a 15th league this next season.

Banchero was originally recruited by San Miguel Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League after graduating in college in 2012. The Philippine team already noticed him while playing for Seattle Pacific University's (SPU's) varsity team and for the Italian team in the professional division. At that time, he was gunning for a career in the NBA, trying out his luck in several teams.

While playing two seasons for the Beermen, he teamed up with Asi Taulava, Eric Menk, Junmar Fajardo, JR Cawaling, and other ex-PBA stars and led the team to the 2013 ABL Championship, defeating the Indonesia Warriors. He was also awarded as the Finals MVP.

Now that Banchero has signed a maximum deal with the Aces, is it not time for the rumors to die down? Some observers believe that there may be more surprises from the Aces in the coming days and nobody should try to blink for a long time in order not to miss it.

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