DIGOS CITY - Barangay Ginebra’s high-flying rookie Chris Ellis said he has a few “aces up his sleeves” when he joins this Friday’s slam-dunk contest of the Annual PBA All-Star Week as the top favorite.
'Air Force' Ellis, known for his explosive jump and rim-rattling dunks, has been preparing for the annual side-event despite bruising his left knee in a collision with import Jerome Jordan during Sunday’s 79-85 loss to Talk ‘N Text in Game Two of their semifinal series.
“I kind of hurt my knee a little bit when I hit it on Talk ‘N Text’s import, but I just kind of iced it the past days,” said Ellis, who will be going up against Petron’s Arwind Santos, Barangay Ginebra teammate Elmer Espiritu, Alaska’s rookie Calvin Abueva, and Meralco’s rookie Fil-Am Cliff Hodge.
Ellis, who has also been voted to start for the PBA selection in the game against Gilas Pilipinas, refused to go into details on his repertoire of dunks in only the second time in his young basketball career that he will join a slam-dunk contest.
In his first try in college while playing for Mary Liarden Baylor, Ellis recalled losing to his roommate, who managed to pull off a between-the-legs trick on the way to the title.
“It was me and my roommate doing the last dunk. I tried doing a dunk but it was really difficult so I ended up missing the first one. And then the next one, I just threw (the ball) up and did a 360 windmill,” recounted Ellis.
“And then he (college roommate) came up doing the between-the-legs but it hit the rim and then it rolled in,” added the 24-year-old forward, Barangay Ginebra’s sixth pick overall in this season's rookie draft.
But no matter what happens, Ellis promised to give his best and entertain the fans with his high-wire act.
"I hope I could live up to the expectations," the 6-4 Fil-Am high-flyer added.