BARANGAY Ginebra rookie Chris Ellis admitted that he was nervous and anxious after getting wind of rumors that he was, supposedly, on the trading block.
Rumors flew last week that the high-flying guard and Josh Urbiztondo were bound for Meralco in a trade for fellow rookie Cliff Hodge and the rights of Asi Taulava - talk that was quashed by San Miguel Corp. sports director Noli Eala, who called Ellis a "building block" for Ginebra's future.
Eala's denial was music to Ellis' ears.
“I’m relieved. Leaving Ginebra will be a nightmare for me,” said Ellis. “The fans always start rumors and everything - but I’m very fortunate and blessed that San Miguel will hold on to me and consider me as the building block for one of their teams.”
Ellis also reiterated his desire to stay with the most popular team in country, with a philosophy that fits well with his own personal belief.
“The never-say-die attitude, there’s a lot that comes with it,” said the sixth pick overall of the last rookie draft. “It brings you like a sense of urgency and accomplishment when you’re out there working hard for the fans and corporation.”
The Fil-American wingman also bared that the trade rumors only pushed him to train ever harder to be worthy of the trust and confidence of Ginebra management.
“When I heard about me getting traded, to be honest, I started my hard training and pushed it harder. It was some sort of an eye-opener and awakening,” he said.
“I don’t want to leave this team. I know I have to work hard. It just re-ignited something in me to prove to myself and to the organization that they are not making a mistake in keeping me.”
And with his unwavering desire to improve his game especially his shooting, Ellis vows to one day become an integral part of Ginebra that management foresees him to be.
“I’ll continue to work hard and hopefully become one of the important parts of this team,” said Ellis, who admits to being inspired by the discipline and attitude of Ginebra superstar Mark Caguioa.
“There can only be one Mark, hopefully there’ll be one Chris Ellis. I work everyday to achieve some sort of greatness compared to him.”
The Kings will resume practice on July 15. Import Dior Lowhorn is expected to arrive a few days before the team converges.