THE blueprint for Chris Banchero’s move to the PBA appears to be in place.
Multiple sources told Spin.ph San Miguel's backcourt star in the Asean Basketball League is headed to the PBA D-League in its next conference late this year in order to fulfill the residency requirements for Fil-foreign players wishing to be eligible for the PBA draft.
One likely destination for Banchero, sources said, is Blackwater Sports, the PBA D-League Foundation Cup champion which snapped NLEX’s reign of four straight titles in the developmental league.
Banchero is covered by PBA rules requiring Fil-foreign players aged 25 years old or below to play in at least two conferences in the PBA D-League before becoming eligible for the draft.
The 24-year-old Fil-Italian was a key piece in the San Miguel’s recent title run in the ABL, winning Finals MVP honors after the Beermen completed a sweep of the Indonesia Warriors on Wednesday night.
Banchero had said that he is looking forward to joining the PBA draft, but only after he helps the Beermen win a crown in the regional league.
“Yeah, I want to play in the PBA,” Banchero said. “Everybody has been asking me that. I’m in the ABL now but of course, I want to play in the PBA.”
“It’s a great league and I can’t wait to play in the league. But right now, I’m in the ABL. As soon as I’m done here, I will go to the PBA,” he said.
San Miguel and Blackwater Sports are no strangers to each other.
Former University of Santo Tomas guard Jeric Fortuna suited up for Blackwater Sports in the D-League before joining San Miguel midway this season as one of the team’s back-up point guards.
Bacon Austria, son of San Miguel coach Leo Austria, was also a practice player of the Beermen earlier this season before moving to Blackwater.