ALASKA fans need not worry as rookie Chris Banchero himself assured he’s ready to sign up with the Aces.
“Anytime now (I will sign a contract). They (Aces) are just working on the last of the final details. It’s a big step on my (PBA) career, so I don’t want to rush into anything,” Banchero told Spin.ph in a brief interview shortly after Alaska’s practice on Tuesday at the Gatorade Hoops Center.
The Fil-Italian out of Seattle Pacific University explained he just took the time to carefully weigh things before signing on the dotted line.
Earlier tipped to end up among the top three picks, Banchero eventually ended up as the fifth selection overall by Alaska during the last Rookie Draft.
Now in his second week with his mother team, the six-foot playmaker said he’s happy with the warm reception he had gotten from the Aces, where he is also reunited with veteran Erik Menk, a teammate of him with San Miguel when the Beermen won the 2013 Asean Basketball League (ABL) title .
“A lot of veterans in the team, a lot of players who have played multiple years in the PBA. I’ve already played with Erik, so it was good seeing him, Sonny (Thoss), Cyrus (Baguio), JV (Casio), lot of guys who played in the PBA for a while,” said the 25-year-old freshman.
“It’s fun learning from them and talking to them. I’m kind of a rookie in the PBA.”
The soft-spoken Banchero said he’s looking forward about learning a lot from Australian coach Rob Beveridge, who is in Manila to help Alaska coach Alex Compton run the team’s training camp for the next two weeks.
Banchero said just for the Aces’ first day of training camp, Beveridge already laid down some principles on defense.
“It’s exciting. He’s (Beveridge) a very good coach. Just from his first day, you can tell he puts a lot of emphasis on defense and bring a lot of overseas knowledge to everybody,” he said.
Banchero, born to an Italian father and Filipino mother, the former Jacqueline Guerrero, is expected to add speed, defensive hustle, and offense for the Aces when the league opens its 40th season on October.