Former slam dunk champ Chris Ellis insists he's proud of Jammer Jamito performance
Chris Ellis describes Jammer Jamito's Euro-step-into-slam as 'nasty.' Jerome Ascano / Jaime Campos

CEBU – Maybe he’s just being nice to his Ginebra teammate, but Chris Ellis insisted he was proud of Jammer Jamito’s performance in the PBA All-Star Slam Dunk Contest last Friday in Lucena.

Ellis, a former Slam Dunk champion who’s now playing for the Visayas All-Stars, even made special mention of Jamito’s Euro step dunk past Japeth Aguilar – that hardly impressed, but stole the show and drew laughs.

“That sidestep dunk was nasty,” Ellis said with a chuckle in a chat with SPIN.ph. “He threw that down, though, right? Really proud of him that he went out there and performed the way he did.”

[See Jammer Jamito steals show, draws laughs with best Euro step in slam-dunk history]

“We knew he was going to do that,” he added. “We saw it in practice. He’s always been doing good, but not a lot of fans know him, so for him to get the fans comfortable with him, that’s (good).”

Asked if he would’ve wanted to see Jamito make a tougher, acrobatic dunk, Ellis said he didn’t mind seeing his teammate do a simpler yet funnier stunt.

“No, we just wanted him to make his dunks,” Ellis said. “We didn’t want him to go out there and do something he didn’t want to do. We’re all proud of him.”

The sidestep dunk drew 37 points from the five judges, including SPIN.ph associate editor Gerry Ramos, while Jamito’s dunk in the first round also wasn’t as impressive as the others did.

[See Chris Newsome beats sentimental favorite Forrester by a point for first PBA slam-dunk title]

Still, Ellis was pleased.

“I think his executed, he made his dunks,” Ellis said. “He looked like he was in control, calm, and everything, so I wouldn’t give him any advice. I think he did a great job by himself.”

“I think he made everybody happy,” he added.

Turning serious, Ellis knows his rookie teammate has a bright future ahead of him once he cracks coach Tim Cone’s regular rotation.

“He got a lot of upside to him, and you, guys, will see him and his game, he’ll definitely start showing it,” Ellis said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos