A STAR guard of San Miguel Corp. before, now the franchise player of SMC’s rival company.
Highly-touted Chris Banchero formally signed up for Boracay Rum on Monday, easily making him the team’s top attraction in the coming PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
“Yes, Chris’ contract with us has been signed, sealed, and delivered. Banchero is now Tanduay’s property,” Boracay Rum head coach Lawrence Chongson disclosed to Spin.ph.
“Negotiations did not go well in our first meeting pero in the end, we agreed to a compromise,” added Chongson, considered as the most trusted man in the team by Tanduay big boss Bong Tan.
Chongson divulged Banchero, who played for Asean Basketball League (ABL) reigning champion San Miguel, will be receiving the league's maximum allowable salary of P30,000 a month. On top of the nine-month contract he signed, the 6-foot-1 Fil-Italian is also getting food, housing, and transportation allowances.
“I am a man of my word. I told Chris, maliit talaga ang salary cap sa D-League. Pero kung may kailangan siya, ako na mismo tutulong sa kanya,” revealed Chongson, who vowed to shoulder the extra expenses that his top rookie will incur during his stint with the team.
“Ni-reiterate ko lang sa kanya na ‘whichever team that gets you, will also give the same amount,” added the former UE Red Warriors coach.
“We realized naman kung paano maapektuhan ang finances niya. We all know na he already played in a big league like the ABL. So talagang maninibago siya in terms of monthly salary,” said Chongson.
The top pick in the maiden D-League draft initially tried to haggle for a compromise that will have him playing in the ABL and D-League at the same time, something which Chongson immediately shot down.
“I put my foot down on his ABL request. Hindi magiging feasible. Imposible na two teams laruan niya ng sabay. Wala pa akong nakikitang ganun. Mag-sa-suffer pareho yung teams,” he added.
“Eventually, pumayag naman at sinabi niya naintindihan niya kami.”
“Na convince ko rin siya na wala siyang ibang pupuntahan. We are the path towards his PBA dreams,” added the Boracay Rum mentor.
Asked if there is such a clause that will sit out Banchero during Boracay Rum’s game against Blackwater Sports, Chongson said there was none.
Banchero is a known endorser of Blackwater, with which he previously signed a contract to play in the D-League until the rookie draft was institutionalized by the league.
“Walang agreement na ganun, endorsement lang. Hindi naman player. Same thing with Chris Tiu. Model ng Smart pero he plays against Talk n’ Text,” stressed Chongson.
“Single round lang naman ang D-League. Once lang namin makakalaban ang Blackwater. Wala naman kami kaso sa endorsement deal niya dun,” added the fiery mentor, whose is hoping to improve Boracay Rum’s third-place finish in the last D-League Foundation Cup with Banchero in tow.