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    Best pals turn rivals as Ross squares off with former teammate Mercado

    Feb 23, 2013

    CHRIS Ross Is looking forward to Sunday's game again Globalport, not only because Meralco is looking to end its three-game slide, but also because he is set to face off with teammate-turned-rival Solomon Mercado.

    Ross said it's hard to see Mercado leave the team after his best friend became the central piece in a multi-player deal between the Bolts and the Batang Pier ahead of the Commissioner's Cup.

    "It's been tough because not only is he (Mercado) my teammate, but he's my best friend also,"Ross told

    Mercado's departure shocked not a few people since the shifty guard led the league in points and assists during the recent Philippine Cup where the Bolts entered the quarterfinals seeded fourth with their 8-6 record.

    Without Mercado in the ongoing Commissioner's Cup, Ross has been thrust into the starting point guard position, which the San Antonio, Texas-born guard found challenging.

    "I'm just trying to be business-like and perform as best as I can. But I'm still trying to get familiar, though it's something I had to take in and be aggressive," explained Ross, who turns 28 next month.

    Ross was at his best on Wednesday, igniting Meralco's strong fourth-quarter comeback from 22-points down that barely fell short, 86-88.

    "There are lessons we are learning from the game," said Ross. "But I think the loss of Sol gives other guys an opportunity to step up."

    Ross said he has already warned Mercado that should Globalport lose on Sunday, he'll have to treat him out for a meal.

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    "I think my team won over his team when I was still with Coke and he was still with Rain or Shine in double overtime. Got to make it two in a row," Ross said, smiling.

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