IT’S understandable for a San Miguel player to be in pain with the sudden end of a dominant season, but for Chris Ross there is this overwhelming sense of pride even as the Beermen’s grand slam bid fell short.
The Filipino-American guard is sticking to the positives of a shock ending as he looks back at two conference titles — and five over the last three seasons.
“Just cause we don't win the grand slam doesn't mean we didn't have a great year,” Ross said. “We had a great year, we won two conferences, five out of nine, that's over 50 percent winning championships; it's not a failure. We didn't reach our ultimate goal, but just because we didn't reach our ultimate goal our season's not a failure.”
“I'm proud of the guys in the locker room, proud of my brothers out there, fought hard every game, came to practice and work every day, the coaching staff for putting in the work preparing us for every game,” he added.
“Sometimes you fall short in life, sometimes it's how you bounce back from shortcomings,” he continued. “So I'm sure it will hurt, it hurts all of us in the locker room but there's some smiles over there and we got something to play for in the All-Filipino is to win that conference four straight.”
Playoff-mode Ross couldn’t be found though, and the guard that San Miguel had on Wednesday could only deliver five points on 2-of-9 shooting, seven assists, two boards, two steals, and one block, against four turnovers in almost 34 minutes against the Gin Kings.
And Ross paid tribute to the Gin Kings and their preparation that was evident in the game where they broke loose from a tight battle in the first quarter and led by as many as 30 points.
“It was back and forth and the next time they were hitting a couple of shots and we just couldn't get over the hump,” Ross said. “We got to around eight, but we couldn't get over the hump so credit to them, they played well.”
“Coach Tim, I'm sure he watched a lot of our game from the last game two weeks and devised a gameplan to attack the way we played them, so coach Tim's one of the greatest ever in the PBA and playing against him in a twice-to-beat is tough,” he added.
SMB’s rare setback, though, will only revive their hunger when they defend their Philippine Cup crown next season for an unprecedented fourth straight time.
“We're eager to get going in the All-Filipino,” Ross said. “We want to take a rest and rest our bodies because it's a long year and we played more games by far than any team in the PBA so we need to rest our bodies, come back and defend our crown.”