SMB rotation just got deeper as Brian Heruela proves worth in back-up role
Powerhouse San Miguel does not miss a beat even with the exit of Chris Ross, with Brian Heruela playing significant minutes. Jerome Ascano

CHRIS Ross is plenty pleased with the solid performances of backup guard Brian Heruela that has allowed him more time to rest on the bench.

With Ross forced to sit out after being called for a flagrant foul, it was the bulky point guard from Cebu who took over and the Beermen never missed a beat on the way to taking the lead in the Commissioner’s Cup finals.

"He was amazing, man. Last game he was amazing, this game he was amazing. When I got the F1, he came in and we didn't miss a beat," said Ross.

[See San Miguel wrests 2-1 finals lead as Alex Cabagnot runs rings around TNT KaTropa]

"He's a strong body so it gives Jayson (Castro) a different look and he forced Jayson to a few turnovers and a few tough shots and he made the shots that he took," he added.

While it is unlikely Heruela would average more than 20 minutes a game considering the depth on the Beermen's guard rotation, Ross understands the value of having a good back-up on the floor.

"Everything that Brian did was a positive and I really welcome that because it gives me extra time to rest and I don't have to play 40-some minutes a game," Ross continued.

"When Brian does that and coach has trust on him, its good for the team."

[See SMB import Charles Rhodes says it will be 'crazy' for TNT to replace Joshua Smith]

Though he finished with just five points and two assists in 14 minutes of action, Heruela did more than enough as he anchored San Miguel's attack without their leader on the floor.

"I just want to play hard and do the best way I can to help my team in every way," said Heruela.

"Good thing we had a good run and we executed well and we’re able to have good defense and things went our way na rin," he added.

Heruela also showed he can do well against Castro, helping limit the production of Asia's best point guard.

[See Jayson Castro credits SMB defense after committing 10 turnovers in Game 3 loss]

"We’re just lucky that Jayson missed some shots. Jayson is a great player, the best point guard in Asia and defending him, we’re able to contain him and were able to make life tough for him," said Heruela.

If he gets another shot at getting good minutes come Game Four, make no mistake about it - he'll be ready.


"I always prepare myself mentally and physically. Whenever coach puts me in, I’m always ready."

Follow the writer on Twitter: @bassman500