CAFE France intends to make Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero the no. 1 overall pick in the maiden Rookie Draft of the PBA D-League on Sept. 19.
And coach Egay Macaraya said he doesn’t plan to trade the 6-foot-1 guard out of Seattle Pacific University.
“After ng management meeting kahapon, ang no. 1 option namin is to draft Chris Banchero. So if na-draft na namin siya, we don’t plan to trade him,” Macaraya told Spin.ph on Saturday.
Cafe France owns the first overall pick in the first ever D-League Draft followed by Cebuana Lhuillier, Boracay Rum, Big Chill, Blackwater Sports, and NLEX.
Banchero heads the 10 early applicants in the Draft as he intends to use the PBA’s farm league as an opportunity to hone his skills with the long-term goal of playing in Asia’s pioneering
professional cage loop.
Blackwater, the reigning D-League Foundations Cup champion, has long set its sights on the 24-year-old Fil-foreign guard, and even tapped him as part of the team that played a three-game campus tour last month as part of the Elite’s product promotion in Bacolod City.
But with the league institutionalizing its very first Draft, Banchero has to go through the process, and eliminating any hopes of Blackwater hiring him directly.
Marvin Espiritu, who represents Banchero, said since Cafe France already declared its intention to tap the 2013 Asean Basketball League (ABL) Finals MVP, it will now be a management-to-management negotiation to determine where and to what team the San Miguel guard will be playing.
The soft-spoken Banchero is coming off a successful stint in the ABL stint, having led the Beermen to their first league championship last June via a three-game sweep of the Indonesia Warriors in the Finals.
Banchero has made it clear he is merely using the D-League as a stepping stone in fulfilling his lifelong dream of playing in the PBA.
The 38-year-old league though, requires Fil-foreign players still below 25-years-old to put their Filipino citizenship documents in order and play at least two conferences in the D-League before becoming eligible for the PBA Draft.