UNLIKE his high-scoring, more heralded relative, Octavius Ellis is eager to make a name on the defensive end of the floor when he reinforces Alaska in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.
A cousin of veteran NBA combo guard Monta Ellis – a career 18-point per game scorer, Octavius promises to provide the Aces his energy and hustle as the Aces’ man in the middle.
“I run the floor, block shots, and rebound,” Ellis, listed at 6-10, said in a chat with SPIN.ph after practice on Monday. “I’m energetic and I play with a lot of intensity.”
“I also score here and there,” he added. “I just like to have fun.”
Informed of the PBA’s physicality, the scrawny Ellis, who just turned 24 last Friday, vowed to stand his ground against his fellow imports.
“I heard it’s a very physical (league),” the American slotman said. “So I’m going to have to come in focused mentally about being pushed around.”
“I’m just going to go out and play my game and have fun, and play with a lot of intensity,” the Cincinnati product reiterated.
After going undrafted in last year’s NBA Draft, Ellis began his professional career in Europe, particularly in the Montenegrin league, before the Aces tapped his services in their bid to replicate their finals appearance in the midseason tournament last season.
“I plan to help this team keep the tradition alive, just go out and have fun,” Ellis said.
And he warmed up to the Aces by getting a haircut after practice from up-and-coming celebrity/athlete barber Boy Fernandez upon the recommendation of star teammate Calvin Abueva.
“They said he (Fernandez) was one of the best in the Philippines, so I had to check him out, and he did a pretty good job,” Ellis said as he sported his new look after emerging from the locker room.