OTHER than June Mar Fajardo and Arwind Santos, Chris Ross was another San Miguel player who basked in the limelight on Friday night after winning an individual award in a season to remember for the Beermen.
On the night Fajardo collected a second straight MVP plum - among a host of trophies – and Santos landed a spot in the Mythical First Team during the annual Leo Awards, Ross also stood proud on stage after being named part of the PBA’s All-Defensive Team for its 2014-15 season.
An elated Ross couldn’t hide his excitement as he told Spin.ph how he cherished his first-ever award in the pro league.
“It’s my first award in the PBA, individually. It makes me feel good that people notice what I’m doing out there. I didn’t make the All-Defensive Team in the past. Making this one was well worth it,” said Ross.
The Fil-Am guard joined the league’s elite defenders in the team such as teammate Fajardo, Rain or Shine’s Gabe Norwood, and the Alaska duo of Calvin Abueva and Ping Exciminiano.
The award is definitely long in coming for Ross.
“I see you @cmross6!,” wrote Norwood on his Twitter account. “Bout time you got recognized for what you do on the defensive end of the court. #Brotherhood.”
Of course, the individual award takes a back seat for Ross as the season saw him and the Beermen win two of the three conferences titles at stake, including the Governors’ Cup championship which they bagged after a four-game sweep of Alaska in the Finals.
“It’s amazing, man,” said Ross. “The all-Filipino was great. This was great. Two of my best accomplishments in my career, without a doubt.”
After winning the Philippine Cup, the Beermen took a nosedive in the mid-season Commissioner’s Cup after missing out on the playoffs following a dismal 4-7 win-loss slate.
But with import AZ Reid suiting up again for San Miguel, the Beermen got back to their winning form in the season-ending tournament.
“The team, we were resilient. After winning the all-Filipino and having a really, really down conference, it took a lot of us to just look at ourselves, see in the mirror, and say that’s not us.
"So, we came into the third conference willing to put in the work. We all put in the work. It was great character by our team and by everyone,” noted Ross.
Looking ahead, Ross said the Beermen definitely have what it takes to win more championships.
“We just have to take it one game at a time, try to stay healthy, keep getting better, and being not complacent. The sky is the limit for our team. We really have all the pieces and the coaches are putting us in the right position,” he stressed.