Chris Banchero leaves for two-week training in New York to get ready for PBA draft
Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero is expected to land in the top three of the August 24 PBA draft. Dante Peralta

WHILE Stanley Pringle is a consensus top pick in the coming PBA Annual Draft, Fil-Italian guard Chris Banchero isn’t lying idle in the offseason.

The six-foot guard out of Seattle Pacific University left last Friday for New York for a two-week training before returning to the country in time for the pre-draft camp and the draft proper on August 24 at the Robinsons Place in Ermita, Manila.

The former San Miguel star in the ABL is coming off a fruitful stint with Boracay Rhum in the PBA D-League, where he submitted averages of 13.5 points, 3.0 assists, and 2.3 rebounds in the season-ending Foundation Cup.

The cat-quick guard decided to leave for the US, according to his agent Marvin Espiritu, to make sure he is in the best possible shape for his much-awaited jump to the pros.

“Gusto lang niya na he’ll be ready for the draft kaya siya pumunta ng US,” Espiritu told on Sunday, adding Banchero will also take the time to visit his parents.

Banchero could easily land among the top three in the draft where GlobalPort owns the first pick, followed by Rain or Shine, and NLEX, which recently bought the Air21 franchise.

While GlobalPort management has already admitted that it is already negotiating with Pringle’s agent, Rain or Shine is still keeping its cards close to its chest.

“Si Chris, sabi nga niya, ready lang naman siya kahit saan siya mag-land. Kasi alam naman niya na mauuna sa kanya si Stanley Pringle,” added Espiritu, who also handles the careers of Ginebra’s Japeth Aguilar and San Miguel Beer’s Chris Lutz, among others.

Espiritu said Banchero is due to arrive a few days before the two-day PBA biomentrics camp set on August 18 and 19 at the Gatorade Hoops Center in Mandaluyong.

Banchero and Pringle’s basketball rivalry dates back to their time in the Asean Basketball League (ABL).

The 25-year-old Banchero was named the 2013 ABL Finals MVP after teaming up with Asi Taulava in helping the San Miguel Beermen win the championship last year at the expense of  Pringle and the Indonesia Warriors.

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