Chris Ross urges best pal Sol Mercado to keep playing hard after yet another move
SMB guard Chris Ross says he hopes to get another chance to play with pal Sol Mercado some day. Jerome Ascano/ Jaime Campos

CHRIS Ross feels for bosom buddy Sol Mercado following the latest involvement of the stocky Fil-Am guard in yet another trade.

But ever the consummate pro, Ross said Mercado will just have to live with it since it’s how business is done in the PBA and in other sports leagues for that matter.

“It’s the business we’re in. Whatever decision management makes we live with it, we move on,” said Ross, whose backcourt partnership with his close pal at San Miguel proved to be shortlived after Mercado was trade to GlobalPort for Alex Cabagnot  just before the trade deadline for the Philippine Cup.

Following a one-game stint with the Batang Pier in the playoffs, the 30-year-old Mercado was later shipped to Barako Bull for veteran guard Denok Miranda.

Ross knows jumping from one team to another is not an easy matter, but it’s part of every pro player’s life which one has to deal with.

“Sol is one of my best friends out here (in the PBA), but it (trade) can’t affect on how you play on the court,” said the 29-year-old back-up guard at San Miguel. “So we know it’s a business decision. We moved on and just keep on playing hard.”

That’s exactly what Ross is trying to do at San Miguel as he chases his first-ever championship in Asia’s first ever play-for-pay league. The Beermen though, trail the Alaska Aces in the best-of-seven title series, 2-1, following yet another meltdown in Sunday’s Game Three when they failed to protect a 21-point third-quarter lead to lose, 78-70.

And instead of sharing the backcourt with Mercado, Ross is sharing backcourt duties with Cabagnot, who he’s trying to help in any way he can.

“We all know his (Cabagnot) game. We all know what he can do. I just try to help him out. Any help he can get is good. He has an open heart, and he’s listening to everybody so everything is going good,” said the native of San Antonio, Texas.

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The 6-foot-2 Ross admitted he misses playing with his buddy, and said if the right time comes again, he’ll be happy to be reunited with Mercado.

“I still talk to him every day. Nothing really changed. I don’t get to see him every day but I still talk to him every day,” he said. “If the time comes again, maybe we’ll play together again.”

But for the moment, he’ll have to go after the all-Filipino title without his best friend by his side.

“I’m happy to be with San Miguel and we’ll try to get one,” said Ross.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos