ALASKA was quick to shoot down reports San Miguel Beer has shown interest in acquiring rookie pick Chris Banchero.
“No offer from San Miguel,” was the brief reply of Alaska team manager Dickie Bachmann when asked about rumors about the Beermen inquiring about the former Seattle Pacific University playmaker.
At the same time, Bachmann said Banchero is set to sign the team’s offer sheet tendered on the 25-year-old freshman's services just before the deadline for teams to offer a contract on rookie expires by Friday.
The 6-foot-1 Banchero, selected fifth overall in the draft, has been practicing with the Aces this week as he tries to blend in with the veteran-laden Aces under coach Alex Compton.
“He (Banchero) will go to the office to sign the offer sheet," said Bachmann.
Interestingly, the Beermen had a chance to pick Banchero at no. 3 during the draft.
But San Miguel , which traded Jojo Duncil, Chico Lanete, this year's second round pick, plus a future pick to Barako Bull to get the no. 3 selection, instead passed up on Banchero and selected Ronald Pascual in the process.
Banchero began his pro career with San Miguel, serving as the team’s point guard in the Asean Basketball League (ABL) the past two years.
He played a big role in the Beermen winning the ABL championship last year after beating deposed champion Indonesia Warriors.
By joining the Aces, Banchero adds depth to an Alaska backcourt that already has JV Casio, RJ Jazul, veteran Cyrus Baguio, and youthful playmakers Raphael Reyes and Ping Eximiniano.