BORACAY Rum said top rookie pick Chris Banchero will be offered the maximum allowable contract and expects the celebrated point guard to play for the team in the PBA D-League.
The Waves, a part of the Lucio Tan group, selected the ABL star with the third pick overall despite his expressed desire to suit up for Blackwater - San Miguel's farm team in the developmental league.
"We drafted him so we don't see any reason why he shouldn't play for us," said Boracay Rum coach Lawrence Chongson, a known ally of Tanduay big boss Bong Tan.
At the same time, Chongson said the contract Banchero signed with Blackwater before the league announced the holding of a rookie draft should be considered "nill and void."
"The contract that binds Banchero and Blackwater has no meaning and value as far as the D-League is concerned because of this draft," said the former University of the East coach.
Chongson also made it clear that Boracay has no plan to trade away the rights to the popular Fil-Italian guard.
"He'll be offered a contract by Boracay Rum - 99.9 percent he is non-negotiable," the coach said.
Asked about a previous statement by Banchero saying he may skip the D-League if he does not end up with Blackwater, Chongson said: "I know Chris is a professional; we know he will respect us being the team that made him the D-League's first-ever pick."
As for his message to Banchero, who like the other players in the pool weren't required to attend the drafting at the PBA office in Libis, Quezon City, Chongson said: "Chris, we are so proud to have you in the team. We hope you will enjoy your stay with us. We hope to win more games together."