Rookie Chris Banchero opts to sign just a one-year deal with Alaska
Rookie Chris Banchero is shown signing his one-year contract deal with Alaska on Tuesday. Photo from Alaska Aces Facebook page

FIL-ITALIAN rookie guard Chris Banchero opted to sign just a one-year deal with Alaska on Tuesday.

Marvin Espiritu, who represents Banchero, said it was more of a `personal choice’ as to why the freshman player chose just to stay for at least a season with the Aces than accept the original, three-year offer worth around P8.5 million made by management.

“It’s (one-year deal), di naman natin masasabing career move, pero it’s more of a personal choice on his part,” Espiritu told shortly after the former Seattle Pacific University playmaker inked the pact at Alaska’s office in Makati.

Banchero was selected no. 5 overall by the Aces in last month’s PBA Rookie Draft.

Espiritu reiterated the length of the contract was not the main issue, saying the important thing is Banchero’s now officially part of the Aces.

“Hindi naman issue `yung kung gaano katagal (ang kontrata) because his rights is still with Alaska. For now, he just wants to prove with Alaska and he’s happy this (contract signing) is done and over with,” he added.

Under the standard salary for rookies, Banchero will be receiving the monthly maximum pay of P150,000 in his only season with the Aces.

Banchero, who was earlier tipped to end up as among the top three picks in this year’s draft, is expected to add depth to an already talented Alaska backcourt currently led by JV Casio, RJ Jazul, and youngsters Raphael Reyes and Ping Eximiniano.

The cat-quick guard has been practicing with the Aces for the past two weeks and said he’s been learning a lot from Australian coach Rob Beveridge, who is in town to help coach Alex Compton conduct the team’s training camp at the Gatorade Hoops Center.

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