ANTIPOLO CITY – The man who typified San Miguel’s defense is hurting and he’s not big man June Mar Fajardo.
Chris Ross admitted playing through an assortment of injuries that had him favoring his elbow, hand, and knee altogether the past few games for the Beermen including Saturday’s 127-119 loss to Alaska in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center here.
The two-time PBA Press Corps Defensive Player of the Year played for 22 minutes but was held scoreless and finished with four rebounds and five assists as he had to play through all the pain in his body.
“It’s a struggle man, it’s a struggle,” said Ross as he limped out of the venue following the Beermen’s third straight loss and left the team with a 2-4 record.
“Everyone’s banged up, I’m banged up. It’s been a long, long season, injuries are starting to pile up,” said the Fil-Am guard. “I have no choice but to go out there and fight, try to be there for my teammates as much as I can."
"But sometimes injuries will hold you back a little bit, but there’s no excuses. You just have to find a way to right the ship," he added.
Ross was direct to the point on what has been ailing San Miguel. Injuries and defense.
“We’re not healthy for one, and our defense is awful,” he admitted.
While the Beermen has been scoring a lot this conference, Ross also noted how the team has been giving up a lot of points, too.
He said San Miguel’s 119-point output against Alaska would have been enough to win a game, and yet the Beermen allowed the Aces to bury them for 127 points.
“We’re giving the other teams scoring in the 120s. So our defense is awful and we’re not on the same page defensively,” said Ross.
Everything is not yet over for San Miguel, which still has five games left in the eliminations against Phoenix, TnT Katropa, NorthPort, Rain or Shine, and Meralco.
Ross also noted how the Beermen were able to overcome a 0-3 start in the last Commissioner’s Cup, and yet still made it to the finals.
Then again, the turnaround should start right now.
“A lot of guys had been out with Gilas, new import, so we’re trying to figure out on the run,” Ross said. “We got to figure out before it’s too late.”