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    Ross, Cabagnot near full fitness after much-needed rest ahead of SMB-Magnolia finale

    Mar 21, 2018
    Chris Ross says he'll be back in top shape in the finals following a thigh injury in the semis. Jerome Ascano

    THE five-day rest benefited reigning champion San Miguel heading to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals as it gave hurting backcourt players Chris Ross and Alex Cabagnot time to recover from their respective injuries.

    The two starters reiterated they’re coming out ready against Magnolia Pambansang Manok on Friday when Game 1 of the best-of-seven title series is played at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

    ‘I’m here now for the finals and I’m as excited (as everyone),” said Cabagnot during Wednesday’s finals press conference held at the Sambokojin Restaurant in Libis.

    “I’m progressing really good," said Ross as he sat beside Cabagnot. “I’m getting close to 100 percent. I went to practice today and felt pretty good. I’m going to get treatment after this, and I’ll have another treatment tomorrow (Thursday), and by Friday I should be ready.”

    The 35-year-old Cabagnot missed six games in the eliminations owing to a plantar fasciitis injury, but returned just before the playoffs to help the Beermen march to their fourth straight finals appearance in the all-Filipino conference as he played the hero’s role in closing out the team’s semifinals series against Barangay Ginebra.

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      Ross, on the other hand, hurt his thigh during the semis duel against the Kings and played the last two games of the series still favoring the injury.

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      But Ross, 33, finishing the Beermen’s semis series ahead than the Hotshots gave both him and Cabagnot the chance to rest and recover.

      He expects to get back his old playing form as the Finals progresses.

      “I know at some point of this series, I will be 100 percent,” said Ross, the PBA Press Corps Finals MVP for the last two Philippine Cups. “I’m slowly getting there. My recovery is going maybe ahead of schedule and that’s good news for me.”

      Of course, that’s bad news for Magnolia.

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      Chris Ross says he'll be back in top shape in the finals following a thigh injury in the semis. Jerome Ascano
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