"Neutral" Banchero goes bold with Raptors title win

By Paul Lintag on May 31, 2019 07:43 AM

FILE - TORONTO, CANADA - APRIL 27: Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors handles the ball against the Philadelphia 76ers during Game One of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 27, 2019 at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)

There’s no basketball allegiances based on location in the Philippine Basketball Association.

That simply doesn’t apply here.

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Alaska Aces guard Chris Banchero, who outside of Manila, calls Seattle home, has no prior investment in the upcoming 2019 NBA Finals featuring the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors and Finals-newbie Toronto Raptors.

With a neutral mindset, Banchero goes with the team that everyone seems to pick right now, as Alaska’s ace point guard will be rolling with Kawhi Leonard and the rest of the Raptors.

“Toronto in 6, you heard it here first,” Banchero said.

With a star-studded Finals coming up, Banchero says that the NBA title will come down to which star will shine brightest.

“It will come down to the superstars,” he said.

“Kawhi Leonard, Steph Curry, how they play [will decide the series],” he added.

For these Finals, no one has the bigger spotlight than Kawhi Leonard and that will play a role according to Banchero.

Kawhi is playing his first season in Toronto after his falling out with the San Antonio Spurs resulted in a trade to the Raptors.

“I hope Kawhi gets it because you had a lot of hate for leaving San Antonio and the way he’s through it, the way he holds himself [is great],” Banchero said.

“He’s real quiet but he gets the job done on the floor and it’s really good to see that,” he added.


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