CHRIS Ross didn’t go to his native San Antonio or on a European trip for vacation even after San Miguel Beer made history as the first PBA team to win the all-Filipino crown in four straight years.
The SMB star playmaker just stayed in the country as if nothing significant had happened, choosing to rest his strained right thigh and his whole body ahead of another grind in the Commissioner’s Cup.
“We’ve been here before,” Ross said after their practice on Saturday.
What will make the Filipino-American point guard excited to go on a long vacation is when the Beermen cross out the main goal on their list for this season.
“I’m going to celebrate after we win the grand slam,” Ross said with a smile. “That’s the plan.”
Don’t get him wrong, he’s not being cocky, but just eager to work and help the Beermen finally capture that Triple Crown after falling short last season with the addition of Christian Standhardinger.
Ross then tried to play down SMB’s ambitious quest for a grand slam, putting his focus solely on the Commissioner’s Cup where Standhardinger begins to adapt to the system and his teammates, as well as import Troy Gillenwater.
“We can’t talk about a Grand Slam until we win…we got to win the second conference,” Ross insisted. “Grand Slam is not in the picture. It’s months away, so we’re looking at this conference; we’re looking at getting Christian and Troy getting involved in our team and our culture.
“Just because you have guys like that doesn’t mean it makes you unbeatable,” he added. “It can go the other way. Chemistry’s a big thing.”
Good thing, the Beermen are a well-oiled machine for a while now, thanks to their fearsome five of June Mar Fajardo, Arwind Santos, Marcio Lasiter, Alex Cabagnot and Ross.
“We’ve been together for so long and our chemistry pushes us over the top,” Ross said. “We need to get those guys on page with us and they know they need to mesh in with us. They’ll work hard to do that and we’ll work hard as well.”
“Me, being the point guard and of the leaders of this team, I’ll try to do it as well,” he added. “Hopefully it goes pretty smooth.”
Before he can orchestrate the offense again, Ross must regain his full fitness after hurting his thigh in the all-Filipino playoffs, causing him to possibly miss the first few games of the midseason tournament.
“We’ll see. hopefully not, but if I have to, then I’ll do it,” Ross said. “We know that we have to be healthy going into the playoffs, so even though elimination games are important, as long as we give ourselves a chance to be one of the top two seeds heading into the playoffs, and we’re healthy, then we’ll have a good chance.”