IT has been a nerve-wracking week for top rookie prospect Chris Banchero as his original plans for the PBA D-League Draft have fallen through, although his agent says the Fil-Italian guard is moving on and there are no plans yet of pulling out.
A day before the league holds its first-ever Draft, there are speculations about a possible withdrawal by the sought-after 6-foot-1 guard.
Banchero’s representative Marvin Espiritu, however, said they haven’t talked about any such plans.
That means Boracay Rum should end up tabbing the player who played a major part in San Miguel's successful title conquest in the Asean Basketball League.
“Wala pa siyang (Banchero) sinasabi sa akin (about pulling out of the draft). So Boracay Rum na ang kukuha sa kanya,” Espiritu told Spin.ph on Wednesday.
Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy, who signed up Banchero to a two-year endorsement deal with the Elite, expressed his disappointment over the way things have turned out.
“I’m very frustrated with the developments. It’s already beyond my control,” Sy said, referring to Blackwater’s failure to get Banchero to play for the Elite.
The Blackwater franchise recently formalized a partnership with the San Miguel Corp. group under Ramon S. Ang, a move that makes the Elite the farm team of SMC in the developmental league.
Yet the partnership still wasn’t enough to get Banchero in Blackwater’s fold, a team that is looking to extend its D-League domination after denying the NLEX Road Warriors a fifth straight league championship in the Aspirants Cup Finals last June.
Weeks ago, Sy mentioned he has been working out a possible deal with Cafe France to get Banchero to play for the Elite since the 24-year-old playmaker already saw action in Blackwater’s three-day Bacolod campus tour.
But with Cafe France, which owns the first pick, opting to concentrate on building a sustained school-based basketball program with Centro Escolar University, the opportunity to strike a deal with the Bakers suddenly hit a snag.
Cebuana Lhuillier, owner of the second pick, is also fielding a school-based squad composed of the University of the East Red Warriors.
That leaves the door open for Boracay Rum to tab Banchero since the franchise owned by Lucio Tan and coached by Lawrence Chongson owns the third pick in the Draft.
Sy said they have yet to make any formal negotiations with Boracay Rum on a trade deal involving Banchero.