CHRIS Ross stood by his controversial three-pointer late in Game Three of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals that didn’t sit well with coach Tim Cone and some Ginebra players, resulting in a commotion that marred San Miguel Beer’s 99-88 win over Ginebra on Wednesday night.
With 10 seconds left in the game and the Beermen up by eight, the SMB playmaker capped his brilliant offensive play with a triple over Sol Mercado from the left wing as the shot clock winded down.
“It’s unfortunate people think it’s disrespectful, but in the finals, a game’s not over until it’s over,” the SMB playmaker told Mico Halili over the phone in CNN’s Sports Desk on Thursday night. “Anything can happen no matter how much time (is left). It’s a finals game; you can’t afford to give up a game like that.”
To stress his point, Ross recalled Game Two when teammate Ronald Tubid had an open lane for a fastbreak basket with a chance to pad a one-point lead to three with 18 seconds left.
Instead, Tubid opted to call a timeout and, seconds later, could only split his charities, keeping the door open for Ginebra which sent the game to overtime on a last-gasp Joe Devance basket.
“Just like in Game Two, we had an opportunity to score a basket and we didn’t, and it came back and bit us at the end,” the Fil-Am guard said.
“Game Three, it’s an opportunity to … I mean the shot clock was going down and they’re defending me, so I took the shot. It wasn’t an act of being disrespectful.
“Anyone that knows me, anyone has been my teammate, they know that I’m not a disrespectful person, and I’ll never disrespect anyone, especially my elders,” he continued.
Asked if he has already talked with Cone after their incident, Ross answered in the negative and would keep it that way until the end of the title series that shifts to Game Four on Friday night.
“I haven’t (reached out yet),” Ross said. “I won’t really talk to him tomorrow either. Maybe after the series, we’ll talk. It’s two teams that are fighting for a championship and that’s that.”
“It’s not like me making that shot is going to make coach Tim prepare even harder for us,” he added. “They’re going to prepare hard regardless.”