Chris Banchero and Bobby Ray Parks to lead Blackwater Sports if the expansion team becomes the 11th ballclub in the PBA

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Blackwater Sports is very eager to join Asia’s first professional basketball league and if they can, the Elite wants to be an instant contender.

The Elites are in serious bid to get amateur stars Bobby Ray Parks Jr. and Chris Banchero as direct-hires to their team.

An explosive backcourt could likely make up the roster of Blackwater Sports if and when the franchise finally gets the nod of the PBA board to become the league’s 11th member ballclub.

A source told that team owner Dioceldo Sy will be pushing to have direct-hire rights once its application is approved so Blackwater can tab two of the finest players in the amateur ranks today.
Depending on the board, an expansion team like Blackwater Sports is usually given the concession of bringing with it as much as five players directly from the amateur ranks.
Sy confirmed to the Elite are now trying to lure in Parks to join the team in the coming D-League Foundation Cup where the team is the reigning champion.
“Yes, we are now trying to establish links with him (Parks). We want him with us, we have already sent a feeler,” said Sy.
Parks will be available for the season-ending conference of the D-League which opens on March 18 as his former squad the BDO-NU Bulldogs, is not fielding a team to the tournament.
“Basta we will talk to him. And we will also seek help from his patrons for him to become a part of Blackwater Sports,” said Sy, who is known to be close to SM Group of Company big bosses Hans and Manny Sy, the major backer of National University.
Although he plays for Boracay Rum in the D-League, Banchero has an existing contract with Blackwater Sports as an official endorser.
The good-looking Fil-Italian guard was supposed to play for the Elite during the D-League Aspirants Cup only to be hindered by a new league ruling requiring all incoming rookies to go through the draft, where Banchero was eventually selected as the no. 1 overall pick by Boracay Rum.
“Kakausapin ni Boss Dio (Sy) yung si Chris. I am sure he can be an impact player. He is a good playmaker, plus his looks will definitely draw fans to support the team,” said a Blackwater Sports insider.
“Saka Banchero greatly represents our products. So I think it will be pursued,” added the source.
Some of the marquee names currently playing for Blackwater in the D-League which the team can consider as possible direct hires are prolific Adamson guard Jerico Cruz, UST stars Kevin Ferrer and Paolo Pe, and 6-foot-7 Fil-Am center from University of the Visayas Andrew Avillanoza.
Another information reaching bared the Ever Bilena franchise is reportedly negotiating with Cagayan Valley Rising Suns hotshot John Pinto.
Likewise, former PBA draftees Reil Cervantes and current Blackwater star Allan Mangahas are also expected to be included in the lineup.
Meanwhile, Blackwater Sports will conduct tryouts on March 3 to 5 for its title defense in the Foundation Cup, which is expected to serve as the team’s farewell campaign in the developmental league.

— with reports from

Ed Umbao

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