CHRIS Ross and John Fields figured in a heated verbal exchange in San Miguel’s 129-117 win over Columbian Dyip on Wednesday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The two were seen trash-talking for pretty much the entire second half and there was no question on who had the final word in the war of words.
Right after the altercation near the end of the third quarter which resulted in technical fouls for both players, Fields scored just two points the rest of the way, allowing the defending champions to break the game wide open on the way to a 129-117 win.
“I think that's part of the game eh. We know Chris Ross naman eh, that's one way to distract the opponent. It happens, and I think nagkaroon ng impact eh. But to the point na I told him na, dapat hindi magkakaroon ng technical, warning lang ano,” said San Miguel head coach Leo Austria.
“Alam naman natin si Chris Ross, his attitude is really to win eh. He will do everything, even makipag-away siya doon, gagawin niya. I like his attitude, but sana to a certain limit ano. Every game, talagang he wants to pump up the team,” he added.
Ross was quick to shrug off the trash talk.
“It’s just basketball.I play basketball. Stuff that happens in the game happens in the game. Once the game is over, it's over. We move on from this,” said Ross, who finished with 10 points, eight assists and six rebounds.
“I never start anything. When people start to talk to me, my blood gets flowing a little bit. It kinda got my blood flowing and it felt good. It’s just basketball. None more than that,” he added.
Fields, who finished with 19 points, 22 boards and three blocks, even put in a few good words for Ross.
“Nah, that’s just water under the bridge. Chris Ross is a good competitor, and I’m a competitor, it just got heated. Both people wanna win. He’s a good player,” said Fields.
Asked on whether Ross got into his head, Fields denied it and attributed his fourth-quarter struggle to a gambit by San Miguel's defense.
“Nah, it’s just we didn’t execute on offense, I missed shots that I normally make, nothing bugged me, I just got to play through the physicality and finish better around the rim,” said Fields.
“They switched up the zone and got us a little bit off our pace, a little bit off our rhythm. I feel like we were in the game, had a chance to win it up to that spot where we went scoreless in the zone and we just couldn’t solve it. I’m just a little disappointed.”