CHRIS Ellis's love affair with Barangay Ginebra is over.
The athletic Fil-Am was traded on Thursday to Blackwater in exchange for Art dela Cruz, ending a five-year partnership with the Kings that saw him become one of the most popular players in the Ginebra roster.
The deal was confirmed to SPIN.ph by Blackwater owner Dioceldo Sy.
It was actually a 2-on-2 trade as it also involved Dave Marcelo for fellow bruiser Raymund Aguilar.
Sy and SMC Sports Director and Ginebra alternate governor Alfrancis Chua arranged the trade Wednesday and doesn't see any problem getting the approval of the Commissioner's office.
Ellis has long been being mentioned in rumored trades involving Ginebra, including one with Alaska in a deal that would have Calvin Abueva, among others as part of the transaction which didn't push through.
The 28-year-old wingman was the Kings' first round pick (no. 6 overall) during the 2012 draft and endeared himself to Ginebra fans behind his high-flying, slam-dunking ways.
He was the 2013 All-Star slam dunk champion and won his first league championship with the franchise last year during the Governors Cup.
Eliis got to play his final game for Ginebra on Wednesday night in a 105-92 win over Phoenix. He played for 11 minutes and scored two points and had six rebounds.
Coach Tim Cone immediately praised both Ellis and Marcelo for the great work they did during their stay with the team.
"Incredible work ethic, developed into a great teammate, unselfish, and our defensive stopper," said Cone of Ellis in his twitter account @manilacone. "We will miss him in so many ways."
Cone said Marcelo will also be missed.
"He gave us so much during our championship run," he said of the big man out of San Beda. "The most loved guy on the team, comes to work with a smile."
Dela Cruz has not played for Blackwater since suffering the injury during the first ever practice by Gilas Pilipinas as it prepares for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) Championship here. The Elite's first round pick (9th overall) during the 2015 draft, he has been rehabilitating following the operation on his Achilles, although the young power forward has since joined Blackwater in its practices.
Aguilar didn't play in his final game in a Blackwater uniform, a 117-96 rout at the hands of TnT Katropa also on Wednesday.