CHRIS Ross had an inkling he would have a field day from outside in San Miguel Beer’s historic 96-89 victory over Alaska in Game Seven of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals on Wednesday night.
Known more for his defense, the Filipino-American playmaker shone on offense by going 4-of-6 from beyond the three-point arc on the way to game-high-tying 21 points and being named Finals MVP.
“I’ve been working really hard on my shot,” Ross said. “It hasn’t been falling in the finals, but before the game, I was shooting and I felt good.”
“When I got my first and second one to go, everything just felt good,” he added.
His fourth trey, from the left wing with a little over three minutes left, gave SMB an 87-75 lead, enough cushion that negated a late rally by the Aces.
“If you don’t shoot it, you don’t make it,” Ross said. “And my teammates had trust in me, finding me.”
The defense-oriented guard still lived up to his billing, doing most of his damage on defense, becoming just the second Finals MVP to average less than double digits in the title series where he normed just 8.4 points.
Still, Ross’ hot shooting appeared to have changed the people’s perception of him being just a one-dimensional player.
He hardly gives a damn.
“I really don’t care what other people think about me,” Ross said. “My teammates know what I bring to the table, my coaches know, and I know what I bring to the table.”
“A lot of guys think that it’s just my hustle and my defense, but I’m one of the best lead guards to lead a team out there,” he was quick to add. “I get people the right shots. I make sure everyone’s touching the ball, and that’s really one of my skills that if you don’t know basketball, you don’t really see that.”
“Today, it just happened to be me, but I couldn’t have done it by myself.”