PBA Philippine Cup

‘Feels like a movie’: Banchero relishes 1st PBA title in 7 tries

Philip Matel

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‘Feels like a movie’: Banchero relishes 1st PBA title in 7 tries

FLOATER. Chris Banchero in action for the Meralco Bolts in the 2024 PBA Philippine Cup.

PBA Images

‘There's not many words to describe this feeling, but I'm just proud of everybody because we were the only ones to believe,’ says veteran guard Chris Banchero after the Meralco Bolts’ unexpected PBA title romp

MANILA, Philippines – For Chris Banchero, winning his first PBA championship felt like the perfect ending to a movie.

With the Meralco Bolts seemingly out of playoff contention months ago in the 2024 Philippine Cup – placing 11th out of 12 teams early – the team hurdled adversity all conference long, culminating in their conquest of defending champion San Miguel Beermen, 80-78, in a classic Game 6 to bag the franchise’s first championship on Sunday, June 16.

“I couldn’t even put it into words. To win it this way, the past seven weeks have been a blur,” said Banchero of the Bolts’ journey to winning the prestigious All-Filipino title.

‘Feels like a movie’: Banchero relishes 1st PBA title in 7 tries

“There’s not many words to describe this feeling, but I’m just proud of everybody because we were the only ones to believe. Everybody else kind of counted us out, especially when we were in 11th,” he added.

Banchero played a role in the series’ biggest play, delivering the assist to Chris Newsome, the Finals MVP who knocked in the game-winner – a familiar fallaway baseline jumper that broke a 78-all deadlock with 1.3 left in the contest.

It was a huge response after San Miguel stalwart June Mar Fajardo tied the game with a miraculous three-pointer that sent the thousands at the Araneta Coliseum into a frenzy. 

“To win my first one is really special, and on Father’s Day, the way we won it too,” Banchero said of his first title in seven tries, the first three attempts also coming against San Miguel during his time with the Alaska Aces.

“Three seconds. Drawn up a play, and it went in,” added Banchero. “New (Newsome) knocked down that shot. I’ve thrown him that pass many times, so it’s simply hard to put into words. It feels like a movie, kind of.”

Even amid the celebration, the ending still felt unreal for Banchero.

“We were in 11th place, we had to win four games in a row to get in the playoffs,” said Banchero. “We had to go through NLEX, Ginebra, and San Miguel. That’s a tough task. Everybody stepped up.” – Rappler.com

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