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Chris Banchero downplays sentimentality ahead of San Miguel clash

Chris Banchero finds himself squaring off against one of his former teams in yet another attempt to score a breakthrough PBA championship.

The Meralco guard will face San Miguel in the Philippine Cup best-of-7 Finals that opens on Wednesday at the SMART Araneta Coliseum – marking the first time ever that the two franchises will vie for a league title.

“I always enjoy playing against San Miguel,” he said on the sidelines of the pre-Finals presser at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Monday.

It is a full-circle moment for Banchero, who first made himself known to Filipino fans through a stint with the Beermen in the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL).

He later became the fifth overall pick of the PBA Rookie Draft in 2014.

ABL-San-Miguel-Chris-Banchero Chris Banchero downplays sentimentality ahead of San Miguel clash Basketball News PBA  - philippine sports news

He was recruited by the ball club in 2011 after graduating from Seattle Pacific in the States, and would stay there until the team disbanded in 2013.

Still, he won the ABL crown in that same year, leading a squad that also had PBA MVPs Eric Menk and Asi Taulava to a sweep of Stanley Pringle’s Indonesia Warriors in the best-of-5 Finals, winning Finals MVP honors.

Now, he’s about to battle some familiar faces from his time with SMB for a PBA title such as June Mar Fajardo and current team consultant Leo Austria, who was the head coach of that San Miguel team that ruled the regional tilt.

Banchero, though, isn’t feeling too sentimental about this reunion happening in the Big Dance.

“I started with San Miguel in the ABL, with June Mar but, you know, it’s not too sentimental. It’s just basketball,” said the Fil-Italian star.

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Banchero just feels excited for the Finals to commence, looking forward to testing their mettle anew against the defending conference champions.

“They’re obviously the best team in the country right now. Just excited to be able to play against them and see where we are as a team, where I am as a player, and how good we are as a franchise, “ he said.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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