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Ellis’ fate in balance

Fil-Am swingman Chris Ellis, who was recently traded to Blackwater by Barangay Ginebra, is sitting out the rest of the PBA Governors Cup not of his own volition but because it’s what the doctor ordered.

Ellis’ Ginebra contract was assumed by Blackwater and will expire this month. He reported for his first Blackwater practice early this month excited to contribute to the team’s playoff push but collapsed on the floor and was rushed to the De Los Santos Medical Center in an ambulance.  Ellis was confined overnight and found to be afflicted with leptospirosis. Nephrologist Dr. Brando Navidad has ordered complete rest for 30 days. He still has to play a game for Blackwater.

“Unfortunately, Chris fell very ill,” said Ellis’ agent Charlie Dy. “He’s trying to be careful as not to aggravate his condition. He’s been told to rest until fully recovered because his head is still pounding and there’s some muscle deterioration due to leptospirosis. Chris is following his doctor’s orders to the letter because he doesn’t want to take any chances.”

Blackwater team manager Johnson Martinez said he has asked Dy to set up a meeting with Ellis. “We’re worried,” said Martinez. “Our PT has seen the medical report. Once he’s stable, we’d like to find out if he’s interested to play with us.” Martinez said renewing Ellis’ contract will depend on the discussion at the meeting with the final decision up to Blackwater team owner Dioceldo Sy. At presstime, no meeting has been set.

“I advised Chris to contact Johnson directly so they can talk,” said Dy. “I hope Blackwater realizes that Chris is just being cautious because leptospirosis is no joke.”   

Ellis was Ginebra’s first round draft pick in 2012, the sixth overall choice after JuneMar Fajardo, Calvin Abueva, Alex Mallari, Cliff Hodge and Aldrech Ramos. He averaged 6.8 points and 3.8 rebounds in 149 games over his first four years with Ginebra. This season, Ellis averaged 5.2 points in the Philippine Cup, 4.9 points in the Commissioner’s Cup and 3.5 points in six games in the Governors Cup before the trade to Blackwater.

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The National Football League season got off to a rousing start on TV5 with the Los Angeles Rams’ thrilling 41-39 win over the San Francisco 49ers last Friday morning. It was the highest-scoring Thursday Night Football (TNF) game in history and viewers caught every bit of the action live on TV5.

You can now watch the NFL live thrice a week on TV5 starting at 8 a.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Set your calendars for a blockbuster tomorrow morning in another dose of NFL on TV5 with the Oakland Raiders (2-0, monster offensive line) battling the Washington Redskins (1-1, new look defense).

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Gymnastics Association of the Philippines (GAP) president Cynthia Carrion recently said the two gymnasts, who struck gold at the recent SEA Games, travelled different routes to the podium. Reyland Capellan, a 24-year-old native of Masbate, almost went astray. “We listened to his needs,” she said. “He couldn’t get along with his coach, he couldn’t take the shouting. So we sat down with him and talked things over. We gave him support and attention he deserves.”  Capellan topped the floor in Kuala Lumpur, his second straight gold in the SEA Games. 

As for Kaitlin de Guzman who bagged the gold in the uneven bars, Carrion said the Fil-Am reached out to GAP for the chance to represent the country. De Guzman, 18, was born in Mandaluyong then moved to Texas where her family migrated to and is now enrolled at the University of Oklahoma. Her mother Cintamoni won the gold in the uneven bars at the 1995 SEA Games and another gold in the team event in 1997.

“Guzzie has visited Manila several times,” said Carrion, referring to De Guzman. “She asked if she could represent the Philippines in the SEA Games. She sent videos of her performance. We brought her in and she spent three to four months training here before competing in K. L.” A Fil-Am elite gymnast on the US team is 14-year-old Emma Malabuyo who won the gold in floor at the International Juniors in Yokohama last weekend. She has captured gold medals in floor, balanced beam and vault in five international competitions since last year.

Carrion said aside from Capellan and De Guzman, newly-crowned International Juniors vault champion Caloy Yulo is in the elite pool seeking to compete at the 2020 Olympics. She said Yulo’s major sponsor is Meralco and thanked chairman Manny V. Pangilinan for his support that was facilitated by MVP Sports Foundation executive director Patricia Bermudez-Hizon.

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