BARANGAY Ginebra should be thankful that high-flyer Chris Ellis has spent all those extra hours in the gym polishing his three-point shooting.
Known more as a slasher and open-court player, the Ginebra sophomore hit a pair of huge three-pointers late in regulation and early in overtime to bail out the Gin Kings on their way to a 108-104 win over Barako Bull in their PBA Commissioner's Cup bow on Friday night.
Ellis said he spent two hours before practice polishing his three-point shot, feeling the need to add a new dimension to his game under a new Ginebra system that encourages more ball movement to find the open men, both inside and in the wings.
“I’m trying to show them that I’m a shooter and I’m able to shoot on open shots,” said the sixth pick overall last season, who hit the three-pointer that forced overtime as well as another trey that nudged the Gin Kings ahead early in overtime.
The extra work has apparently paid off.
A 29 percent shooter from three-point range last season, the flamboyant Ginebra sophomore went 3-of-4 from beyond the arc against the Energy en route to a 17-point effort and a Player of the Game citation.
“Every single day, we’re there (in the gym) early two hours before practice. Everybody’s working on their shots because it’s just a mental thing,” said the product of Mary Liarden Baylor.
“I’m just trying to have a good time, get our muscle memory and trying to get consistency there.”
“I think in the past, we had a lot of stagnant plays where there’s a lot of standing around. But now we have movement. And now we got all the pieces, it’s gonna get better,” said a beaming Ellis.