TO say that San Miguel coach Leo Austria was surprised by the shooting performance of Chris Ross on Monday night is an understatement.
Ross scored a career-high 34 points behind 10 three-pointers to help the Beermen overhaul a 29-point deficit and beat Rain or Shine, 117-105, in Game Two of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series.
The defense specialist went 10-of-16 from beyond the arc and became only the fifth PBA player to hit double figures on threes in a game after Allan Caidic, Roger Pogoy, Kenneth Duremdes and teammate Marcio Lassiter.
The Fil-Am guard's 10 treys also tied a franchise record for most in a game owned by Lassiter, who is out for the remainder of the midseason conference due to the MCL injury suffered in the playoffs.
"'Yung spirit ni Marcio Lassiter, napunta sa kanya ngayon," said Austria when asked about Ross' shooting display. "Siya naging shooter."
Ross was actually not alone in the SMB shooting parade as import Chris McCollough and Terrence Romeo also hit three three-pointers each.
In all, San Miguel made 18 of 40 three-point attempts.
After another lackluster start, Austria said the instructions was only to bring down the deficit to a manageable level. Ross overdid it as he fired three triples in San Miguel’s 21-0 windup to the second quarter to enter halftime down by just three, 52-49.
“Talagang ‘yung pride nila, still intact. They don’t want to lose by that big margin. We had to cut it down to less than 20 and I think we will be in the game. But surprisingly, we were down by three points in the first half,” said Austria.
Ross hit seven more threes as San Miguel went from trailing by 29 to leading by as much as 23.