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Ellis cherishes playing for PH team, Ginebra Kings


PhilBoxing.com


Two years after setting foot in the Philippines and having the chance of wearing the country's colors in the 2011 Asian Games, Chris Ellis, the new PBA Slam Dunk King, expressed his intention of playing for flag and country anew.

"I know that the Philippine team fo the FIBA-Asia championship has already been formed. The lineup, I was told is already complete. But if they ask, I will, definitely, oblige," Ellis, who won the PBA All-Star Slam Dunk competition last Friday in Digos City, Davao del Sur, told the this writer in an interview. "I never felt so good in my life when I wore the Philippine team uniform two years ago during the SEA Games and I, certainly, would like to experience that feeling again in a larger competition like the Asian Games."


"If not and if this year's SEA Games team is still open, I can play again," the soft-spoken, California-born Ellis, the high-jumping 6-foot-6, who considers playing for Barangay Ginebra as the ‘best thing that ever happened to me,” he said.

"The feeling really was different when I played in Jakarta wearing the national uniform, the same feeling I felt when I was picked by the Ginebra coaching staff during the drafting season,” he reminisced. Those were experiences I will never forget the rest of my life.”

And if I can play in an Asian tournament and, perhaps in the world championship, that will be really be something," he said as he thanked the Gin King’s team manager Samboy Lim, who, he disclosed, taught him the art of slamming.

Samboy Lim really taught me valuable reasons in my slam dunking,” he said. “Well, he is not Philippine basketball’s skywalker for nothing.”


" As to his experience playing in the last SEA Games, Ellis, said: “They say the SEA Games can easily be won and that playing there doesn't mean anything, but for me, that's big not because of the strength of the tournament but because I was carrying my country's colors."

" I was very proud really when I told my Mom, Dad and my brother and sister back in the States about my experience. A win is a win and winning for the country makes me very very proud, Ellis said. "

Born to Robert James Ellis, who served the United States military as a member of the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force, and Suzzette Cortez, a singing journey woman from Sampaloc, Manila, Ellis is the youngest of a two-boy, one-girl brood, which is now based in Clearwater, Tampa in Florida. At one time or another though, the Ellis family also stayed in Hawaii, California, Georgia and Texas where he studied high school and college. He finished his secondary schooling in Honolulu.

"As a soldier, my Dad had been detailed to several places and we stayed together wherever he was assigned," Ellis, who attended communications and marketing classes at Temple Junior College in Texas, Mercer University in Georgia and the University of Mary Hardin, also in Texas.

"I still need two-and-a-half years to earn my degree and I want to finish it," Ellis, said, adding, he plans to enroll at the University of the Philippines this coming school year. "A career in basketball cannot last long, so I want to I finish a course, just in case."

"Since my childhood days, I've been hearing from my Mom and relatives saying good things about the Philippines that it became an obsession to come hre and see for myself. "Upon setting my foot here , I believe what they were telling me was true." From that moment, I started loving this country, home to the most beautiful women in the world," he said, admitting he has a Pampanguena girlfriend studying in La Salle.

Ellis said he started in sports in soccer and athletics, but failure to get scholarship in both sports, he moved to basketball where he could play and at the same time pursue a college degree.

"I wanted to be a Marine like my father when I was still young, but for reason I can't remember, I found myself instead playing basketball," he reminisced. "I don't regret though transferring myh interest in sports because it turned out to be my springboard in fulfilling my dream of coming here.

"I'm very happy and contented now that I was able to come here, played amateur (NLEX in the PBA Developmental League) and professional leagues," Ellis, said.who now plays for popular club Barangay Ginebra said.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Eddie Alinea.


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