WHILE Renaldo Balkman and June Mar Fajardo dominated inside, it was Chris Ross who made it happen for San Miguel on Monday night.
Ross scored 16 points behind 4-of-6 shooting from three-point land against Alaska in Game Two of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal playoff, including three straight treys that sparked the Beermen's comeback from 16-points down.
The last of those hat-trick of treys cut Alaska’s lead to 54-53 and it was only a matter of time before the Beermen completed the 105-94 win that moved them a win away from another finals appearance.
Ross said his improved fitness helped him find his shooting touch.
“I finally have my legs under me so when you want to shoot from a distance like that, you have to be healthy and I feel like my legs are coming out at the right time,” said Ross.
“Anytime you could come out and erase a deficit like that, anytime you can give a spark for your team, whether offensively, defensively, verbally, anything you can do to give a spark to the team to cut the lead, it’s always a plus especially if you end up with a win,” said Ross.
Ross said the Beermen's unselfish ball movement led to his open shots in the face of a resolute Alaska defense.
“It’s just from the coaches to my teammates. If I’m open, shoot the ball with confidence and that’s what I’m doing. I was able get a couple to fall. Hopefully, I can keep that going in the next game. But all the credit to my teammates for moving the ball, not being selfish, and finding the right man,” said Ross.
“It wasn’t their defense that is leaving me open. It was the fact that us moving the ball and finding out their rotation, they kinda change their defense up a little bit from the last game. It took us a half to adjust."
While he is starting to get his rhythm going, Ross said it will still be a tough to close out Alaska in Game Three on Wednesday at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum.
“You have to give credit to Alaska. They are battling, they are shorthanded out there and they are giving us all we can handle,” said Ross.
“They say the hardest are getting the first game and close out games especially with a bunch like Alaska, how well they are coached, the players that they have on the team, and their import.
"It’s really tough to close those guys out. They are a high-character franchise and a high-character team. They won’t lay down and give us the game. We have to go hard and play hard,” said Ross.