BARANGAY Ginebra team governor Alfrancis Chua has made it clear there is no plan whatsover to trade high-flying wingman Chris Ellis amid interest from other PBA teams, primarily new ballclub NLEX.
NLEX consultant Allan Gregorio had said the Road Warriors are keen to get players who were part of the team's dominant reign in the D-League when they make their PBA debut next season after acquiring the Air21 franchise.
Among those players is Ellis, a slam-dunk champion who won two championships with NLEX in the D-League and has found a niche at Ginebra in two seasons in the pro league.
Other PBA stars who previously played for NLEX in the D-League are Calvin Abueva, Cliff Hodge, Ian Sangalang, RR Garcia, and Gregory Slaughter.
However, Chua has made it clear Ellis will not be part of any reunion of former Road Warriors in the pro league, insisting Ginebra doesn't intend to part with the high-flyer.
“Hindi mawawala sa amin yun (Ellis). Walang katotohanan yan (trade rumor)," said the former Ginebra coach. "No trade for Chris Ellis, period.”
NLEX team manager Ronald Dulatre said the ballclub has taken no steps to talk to Ellis or any of its former D-League players, pointing out that such a move will be in violation of the league's rules on tampering.
Dulatre insisted Gregorio's was no more than a wish list and no concrete steps have been made yet as far as talking to former NLEX players is concerned.
“Wala, hindi namin ginagawa 'yun at hindi namin gagawin dahil alam namin na bawal sa liga," said Dulatre. "Our main focus right now is to talk to our players, both with expiring and existing contracts and continue to evaluate our team.”
Dulatre stressed the team is focusing its buildup on the roster it inherited from previous franchise owner Air21 Express. He admitted holding a series of talks with team superstar Asi Taulava, whose contract expires next month.
“Wala kaming mga kinakausap na players except those who were former Air21 players na may mga kontratang kailangang i-renew,” said Dulatre, a senior finance officer at the Manila North Tollways Corporation.
“Saka hindi kami pwedeng kumausap ng players ng ibang teams ng basta-basta lalo’t under-contract sila.”