CHRIS Ross was glad to compensate for an error on the offensive end with a defensive gem for San Miguel Beer in its overtime win over Rain or Shine on Friday night in the PBA Philippine Cup.
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year turned to what he does best, coming up with a steal on Beau Belga that set the stage for Alex Cabagnot’s heroics after Ross turned the ball over in the previous possession late in regulation.
With the Beermen down by just two and after coming up with a stop, the logical move was to call a timeout to map out a final play, but Ross just let the play on until he made a dangerous skip pass, which Jeff Chan stole.
“I tried to call a timeout, we all tried to call a timeout, but they didn’t give it to us,” Ross insisted. “So when I got it, I thought we’ll get an eight-second call so I just threw it.”
Good thing, right after the Elasto Painters called for time, Ross deflected the ball from Belga after the latter received the inbound pass, as the Beermen regained possession and their comeback bid continued, before finishing it in the extra session.
“I was lucky I had a chance to make up for it when I got the deflection for the steal and got a couple of assists to start the overtime,” Ross said. “My teammates had my back. That’s what teammates are for, that’s what brothers are for.”
“We have each other’s back and when one messes up, they pick you up,” the Filipino-American playmaker added.
As a result, the Beermen registered a seventh successive win and eighth overall in nine games to move a win away from securing a Top Two spot in the quarterfinals that comes with a twice-to-beat advatange.
“We’re just getting started,” Ross beamed. “It’s one of our mini goals trying to win a championship. Going to the conference, we said we wanted to get one of the top two slots and since we dropped that game to Phoenix a couple of months ago, we’re playing really good ball.”
“That feels good, but we got to put that one on the side and go on to our next goal,” he added.