MANILA, Philippines – Filipino-Italian rookie hopeful Chris Banchero is confident that he is ready for the physical style of play in the PBA after stints in Italy, the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL), and the PBA D-League.
Banchero was the most impressive rookie in Monday's Draft Combine, topping all five skills tests in a show of athleticism.
"I didn't specifically prepare for the drills," Banchero said afterwards. "I've been training for the past two months. I've been training here in the Philippines and also in New York. I've just been working hard."
Banchero, who was picked first overall by the Boracay Rum Waves in the 2013 PBA D-League Draft, believes he is already prepared for the level of physicality in the PBA.
"I think I'll be able to compete right away. I've been a pro for last two years, and I had to go down and play in the D-League as a requirement. I think that got me ready for the style of play in the Philippines," he said.
"The D-League is very physical, if not as physical as the PBA, so I think that's a great stepping stone for me," he added. "I think it prepared me well."
He also spoke well of his experience in playing in the ABL and in Italy. "At the end of the day, that's some of the best basketball in the world," he said.
Banchero is expected to be among the top picks in the draft on August 24.
However, the guard won't specify a desired team, but said he wants "to go to a contender."
"I want to go to somebody who's gonna be in the championship every conference," he said. "That's what I'm looking forward to."