CHRIS Ross doesn’t mind if it takes another overtime period for San Miguel to pull off another win and extend the Smart Bro-Philippine Cup finals against Alaska to a winner-take-all match.
With no less than the all-Filipino championship at stake, the San Miguel back-up guard said fatigue has definitely no place in the scheme of things of the Beermen.
“It’s the championship, man. This is no time to be tired. We worked so hard in the offseason and in practice just to win this,” said the veteran Fil-Am playmaker.
The defending champions were extended to a second straight overtime period by the Aces before pulling off a an 86-73 win in Game Five Wednesday after opening the extra time with an 11-0 run.
The Beermen also took Game Four in overtime, 110-104, to cut down the series deficit at 2-3 after losing the first three games of the best-of-seven finals.
Game Six is set Friday, with the defending champions looking of tying the series even if it meant playing through another overtime.
“If it goes in overtime, it goes to overtime,” stressed Ross. “You’re fighting for a championship, you’re trying to extend the series. No time to be tired.”
The stellar plays of Ross the past two games were actually vital in San Miguel – almost given up for dead - clawing its back from a deep hole in the title series.
He finished with an assist short of a triple double (11 points, 11 rebounds, 9 assists) in the Beermen’s Game Four win where he played for 34 minutes.
Three days after, Ross suited up for 41 minutes and finished with eight points – all in the second half – four rebounds, seven assists, and three steals as San Miguel welcomed back June Mar Fajardo with yet another gritty win.
“I’m just trying to play hard, it’s the championship,” he said. “Our backs are against the wall, so you don’t need to hide anything, just leave everything on the floor.”
The comeback of Fajardo, according to Ross, is also a huge boost to the campaign of the team to become the first to come back from 0-3 down and win a championship.
“He’s the best player in the country,” he said. “He’s the MVP, and he gives us hope.”
Behind that hope is the Beermen’s belief of pulling this series off – even if it meant everything going into overtime.