DIGOS CITY - After running away with the slam dunk title in the PBA All-Star festivities, high-flying Ginebra rookie Chris Ellis is now setting his sight of suiting up again for the national team.
Having been part of the victorious Sinag Pilipinas basketball team that won the gold in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, the 6-foot-4 Ellis definitely knows how it feels to represent the country in an international competition.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling playing for Sinag.Just wearing the (Philippine) jersey, I was so proud and it made my mother proud also. It’s just an amazing feeling and there was so much adrenaline going. You can really feel the Filipino pride,” the Ginebra freshman beamed as he talked to Spin.ph.
Ellis and the rest of Sinag Pilipinas whipped Thailand, 85-57, in the game for the basketball gold as the Filipinos preserved their dominance of the sport in the Southeast Asian region.
The rookie admitted the competition in the SEA Games is nowhere near the level of both the Asian Games and the FIBA-Asia tournament.
But if given another chance to wear the country’s colors, Ellis said he’ll definitely grab the opportunity again.
“Playing for the national team? I’m already saying yes,” he said. “I always wanted to go against China and test ourselves against countries like that. With the right people on the team, I believe we can make it to the Olympics.”
But for now Ellis said his goal is to give Gilas Pilipinas a tough time in their All-Star game showdown against the PBA Selection in the hopes of helping the national squad prepare for its build up for the FIBA-Asia Men’s Championships set in Manila this August.
Ellis is one of only two rookies voted by the fans to start for the PBA All-Star squad to be handled by coach Luigi Trillo.
The two teams tangle in the centerpiece event of the All-Star weekend on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the Davao del Sur Coliseum here.