CHRIS Ross is hardly concerned who San Miguel Beer’s opponent in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals is going to be, believing it’s his own team’s performance that will be decide their bid for a third straight all-Filipino crown.
After advancing to the title series for the fourth time over the past seven conferences following their 96-83 victory over TNT KaTropa in Game Seven on Monday night, the defending champion Beermen await their last challenger – the survivor of the Star-Ginebra series.
Asked which team poses a tougher matchup problem for the Beermen, Ross shook his head.
“Neither,” the Filipino-American playmaker beamed after their blowout win over TNT. “I told the guys today, even if Jayson (Castro) wasn't playing, for me, it's not about who we're facing. It's always about us. If we play our game, we're very tough to beat.”
“So it's not about the opponent we're facing. It's always about us,” he added. “Sometimes, we're playing against ourselves. I feel that if we play our game, everyone shows their talent, I feel like we can beat any team out there.”
The reigning Defensive Player of the Year again flashed his offensive prowess as he registered 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting, including two triples, 11 assists, six boards, one steal, and one block against seven turnovers in 44 minutes in the deciding game against the Texters.
And expect Ross to keep proving he’s a legitimate two-way player in the finals – whoever their opponent may be.
“No preference at all. We're just happy we're here and whoever team we face, I'm sure it will be a battle, I'm sure it will be a long series,” Ross said. “I'm looking forward to it, my team is looking forward to it, and my coaches are looking forward to it.”
“But there's still a lot of work to be done,” he was quick to add. “We haven't done (anything) yet. We're back in the Finals, but it still takes four more wins. We know the other sides, whoever we face, they're not gonna lay down just because we're back to back champions. We gotta go and take it, just like today.”