Mystery surrounds high-flying wingman Chris Ellis as his condition, whereabouts, and fate remain unknown more than three months after he was traded by Barangay Ginebra to Blackwater in exchange for Art dela Cruz.
That Aug. 31 trade also saw Ginebra getting Raymund Aguilar from Blackwater in exchange for Dave Marcelo. Dela Cruz though still has to play a game with his new team as he is reportedly still recovering from a ruptured Achilles injury that he suffered during the first day of Gilas training camp last March 14.
Marcelo has been part of the Blackwater frontcourt since the trade. However, Ellis has not played a single game yet with his new team. He reportedly joined his new team in practice just once in September since the trade.
Following that practice, the 28-year-old Fil-American was ruled out for the season after he suffered from full body cramps. He was later diagnosed with acute renal disease in what appeared to be the side effect of the leptospirosis infection that reportedly hit him even before he was traded by Ginebra.
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by contact with water or soil contaminated by the urine of infected animals. The symptoms include high fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin and eyes), and abdominal pain.
However, Blackwater management got word recently that Ellis is already healthy. Despite this, he still has not reported for duty, according to Blackwater team manager Johnson Martines.
As a result, Blackwater management has expressed doubts about Ellis’ commitment to the team.
Martines said he has not seen Ellis since he joined Blackwater in his first and only practice last September and that he does not know his whereabouts.
The Blackwater official said Ellis has not actually talked to anybody in the team. “He hasn’t returned my calls,” Martines said.
He said Ellis is not on the Elite roster for the coming 43rd season of the PBA.
On Sunday, Ellis posted a cryptic message on his Twitter account (@kingchrisellis1), saying, “I want to sincerely thank everyone who has shown love n concern for me! Thank you!! Im Excited for what the future holds! Until we meet again!”
In a previous tweet dated Sept. 15, Ellis thanked the Blackwater management for giving him time to recover. “Thank you Blackwater Elite for allowing me time to heal. Been confined to a bed for nearly 2wks now! Leptospirosis WILL kill if not treated,” he wrote.
Ellis was Ginebra’s first round pick (no. 6 overall) during the 2012 draft. He endeared himself to Ginebra fans for his high-flying slam dunking acts that earned him the nicknamed “Air Force Ellis.”
He was the 2013 All-Star slam dunk champion and won his first league championship with the Gin Kings during the 2016 Governors’ Cup.