'Air Force' Ellis cleared for take-off in slam-dunk contest
Ginebra's Chris Ellis shows off his invitation to the PBA Slam Dunk Contest and Skills Challenge. Snow Badua

AIR Force Ellis has been cleared for take-off.

Barangay Ginebra rookie Chris Ellis couldn't hide his excitement after receiving the communication from the PBA confirming his participation in the slam-dunk contest in the coming 2013 All Star Weekend.

“Get ready, huh. Get ready,” Ellis said in his southern American state accent after getting the invitation.

So excited is Ginebra's first-round rookie pick in this year's draft that this early, he is already laying down his repertoire of dunks for the May 3 side event to be staged in Digos, Davao del Sur.

“I got some things in mind already, it's just the execution and creativity side that needs to be done through proper rehearsal,” said the Fil-American forward, who is also competing in the Skills Challenge.

“My main worry right now is making my dunk, so I have to prepare,” he added.

The high-leaping rookie said most of the dunks he plans to execute are slams he had already done in the past.

Ellis should be a favorite in the event, having been measured with the best vertical leap in the last rookie camp when he managed to tap a stick perched 11 feet and 4 inches above the ground during one jump.

He also topped the 50-meter sprint test with a clocking of 5.87 seconds.

The Ginebra rising star, however, expects Globalport high-leaper Japeth Aguilar to be the top favorite if and when he decides to take part in the contest.

“I think he’ll be the best bet out there, if he is in the slam dunk. Japeth is pretty athletic,” added Ellis.

Meanwhile, five-time slam dunk king KG Canaleta, who was not given an invitation to this year’s spectacle, said the competition will be a toss-up between Ellis and Aguilar.

“Alin sa dalawa yan, parehong high leaper saka artistic. Nakikita naman natin sa mga laro di ba?” said Canaleta.

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