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    Chris Banchero in talks with Phoenix as unrestricted free agency looms

    Jan 18, 2022
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    Chris Banchero's contract with Phoenix is expiring at the end of January.

    PHOENIX is very much keen on keeping Chris Banchero’s services as negotiations for a new contract with the Fil-Italian guard got rolling.

    Team manager Paolo Bugia confirmed talks with the 32-year-old veteran are already in the works, but refused to further elaborate on the matter.

    “Right now, we are currently in talks with him regarding his contract extension,” said Bugia on Tuesday. “For now, yun lang muna ang masasabi ko.”

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      Banchero is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent once his contract expires at the end of the month, being a member of the 2014 rookie draft that was privileged to be the first recipient of the new rule that was the brainchild of the former late league Chairman Ely Capacio.

      But Banchero appears to be keeping his cards close to his chest on whether he would exercise his rights for unrestricted free agency just like what his two batch mates in Rodney Brondial and John Pinto earlier did.

      Continue reading below ↓

      UFAs make move

      Brondial went to San Miguel while Pinto took his act to Barangay Ginebra despite the two players receiving contract extensions from their previous mother teams in Alaska and Meralco.

      “Yung desisyon niya gusto niya medyo tahimik lang, ayaw niya yung masyadong may ingay. Para pag lumabas, yung OK na nakapirma na siya, nakapag-decide na siya,” said a person close to Banchero.

      Continue reading below ↓
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      The same source added the No. 5 pick overall by Alaska in the draft eight years ago, definitely wants his next contract to be the best for himself.

      Banchero eyes 'best contract'

      “Nasa prime si Chris. So itong next contract, ito na dapat yung best in his career,” the same person said, who nonetheless, added the ball is definitely in Phoenix’s court, being the current mother team of Banchero.

      A product of Seattle Pacific, Banchero suited up for the Aces for five seasons before being traded to Magnolia for the pair of Brondial and Robbie Herndon.

      Continue reading below ↓

      He played for two seasons with the Hotshots, but found himself on the move prior to the start of the PBA 46th season when Magnolia dealt him together with two draft picks to Phoenix for Calvin Abueva and a 2021 first-round pick.

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      Chris Banchero's contract with Phoenix is expiring at the end of January.
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