BARANGAY Ginebra small forward Chris Ellis is taking his recent benching in stride, saying he would continue to gladly cheer from the bench so long as the Kings complete their mission in the PBA Governors’ Cup.
Coming in averaging 20.4 minutes and 6.9 points in his first eight games, the athletic, high-flying sophomore saw action in a conference-low 11 minutes and was held scoreless for the first time in the season-ending tournament in the 92-96 loss to Talk ‘N Text in the Kings’ final game in the eliminations.
But the 25-year-old Ellis, who also had goose eggs in the rebounding and assists department after norming four boards and 1.5 dishes in his last eight matches, is hardly complaining.
“However much time I get on the court, I’m happy with it,” the Filipino-American cager told Spin.ph on Monday after attending Ginebra’s 180th anniversary at the San Miguel headquarters in Ortigas Center. “I just want to be able to contribute.”
“(Kings coach Jeff Cariaso) is coaching the system to the T, so even if he doesn’t use me, as long as we’re winning, that’s all I care about,” he added.
The Kings, however, have lost their last two games, where Ellis averaged just 12.5 minutes, two attempts, and 0.5 points.
His shortage of playing time, though, has given the likes of fellow wingmen Mac Baracael and Dylan Ababou, and even seldom-used point guards Jens Knuttel and Eman Monfort, opportunity to step up.
“Luckily a lot of guys are doing pretty good: Dylan, Mac, even Jens and Eman,” Ellis said. “I’m just happy to see guys contributing, especially Dylan, coming off some series of injuries and everything,”
Against the Texters, Baracael registered 14 points in 25 minutes; Ababou churned in seven points in seven minutes, while Knuttel dished out five assists and two points in 13 minutes. Even Monfort managed to score two points in his two minutes on the court.
Ellis, for his part, had his least productive game in the import-loaded conference. He just hopes the Kings would snap their skid in time for the quarterfinals, where they are set to face third seed Alaska.