CHRIS Ellis blamed not just one, but two botched dunk attempts he had in Ginebra’s three-point loss to Phoenix in Davao last Saturday on the pair of retro shoes that he was wearing.
The high-flying wingman also known as “Air Force Ellis” surprisingly couldn’t take flight in two plays in the game as he pointed to the Jordan XIIIs he wore and just bought recently.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but that was the first time I was wearing those shoes,” Ellis said in a chat with SPIN.ph after practice on Monday. “You know how they make Jordans now – they’re not made for playing, they’re just casuals, so I had one of those.”
“It’s just supposed to be just casual shoes,” he added. "I don’t want to make any excuses, but those shoes were slippery.
“I actually left the shoes on the court after the game because I was so disappointed. I don’t know if anybody got it,” he admitted of the shoes that costs over P9,000.
Ellis wore a pair of Kobe A.D.s in the Gin Kings’ first practice back in Manila.
“I’m still trying to find shoes right now,” the Filipino-American cager said. “I’m just switching shoes throughout and just trying to find something that’s comfortable. It’s kind of hard, man.”
“I’m actually going to go look for some shoes right now,” he added. “Shoes make a big difference definitely.”
At least the 28-year-old small forward made up for his second missed dunk attempt by going back on defense, getting the defensive rebound, and dishing to Joe Devance for the breakaway layup in a play in the second half.
“I don’t what to say like that’s what I do as far as put myself in a situation to bounce back, but it just always seems to be what’s happening lately,” Ellis said.
Gin Kings coach Tim Cone talked to Ellis after the Fuel Masters called timeout following his ward’s assist to still encourage him.
“He didn’t quit or get discouraged from the miss,” Cone said. “And that’s what we want from our guys; bad things are going to happen to you – and you can’t control that sometimes, but you could control your reaction to it, and he reacted really well with a high-character play.”
“He turned a negative into a positive,” he added.
But once Ellis does find a new pair that suits him, expect him to also make up for his missed dunk with a highlight-reel play.
“Chalk it up, man,” the 6-foot-4 cager beamed. “It’ll be exciting the next time I get those (dunk) opportunities. I’m going to try to really…”
“But my main thing I want to focus on is my defense,” he was quick to add ahead of their match against GlobalPort. “All that matters to me is to try and get stops especially playing against GlobalPort. I’ve always prided myself on being the best defender because I’m capable of doing a lot of things.”
“And that last game was just so much pain on my pride as far as people just getting buckets they shouldn’t have gotten,” he added. “I’ll definitely be more focused next time on defense, just making sure I do the right things all the time.”