WHAT a way for Chris Ross to get himself pumped up for the coming PBA Commissioner’s Cup playoffs.
Taking time out from his busy schedule with San Miguel, the top Fil-Am guard tried to psyche himself up for the quarterfinal round by watching world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao train in the flesh.
Ross, a two-time PBA Press Corps Finals MVP, came along with childhood friend Kenny Wilson and close buddy Joe Devance and family to see the 38-year-old Filipino boxing legend prepare for his July 2 title fight against Jeff Horn of Australia for the World Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight title.
Although he’d seen Pacquiao in the PBA in the past as playing-coach of Mahindra, it was the first time the native of San Antonio, Texas saw Pacquiao in training at the Elorde gym at the Five E-Com Bldg around the Mall of Asia Complex.
“It was a treat man. I enjoyed it,” said Ross, who also had his photo taken with Pacquiao’s celebrated trainer Freddie Roach.
More importantly, Ross said it was good seeing a boxing legend get himself in shape for a major fight ahead, something which should help him inspire as the Beermen also get ready for the playoffs of the mid-season tournament that get going starting on Monday.
“I just wanted to see Manny in his element live, watching one of the greatest of all-time training, just seeing him in his mindset and getting ready for a bout,” said Ross, who went to Pasay City gym after San Miguel was through with its morning practice on Saturday.
Ross, 32, made it clear though, that he’s not into boxing and will never be.
“No, I’ll just stick to shooting basketball,” he said laughing. “I don’t want anyone hitting on my face.”
Nor will he challenge Pacquiao, not even for a few rounds of sparring.
“We can play basketball,” the San Miguel guard offered. “We can’t spar, but we can play some basketball.”
The visit at the gym was a timely one for Ross and Co. as Pacquiao and his team are set to leave for General Santos City on Sunday where the boxing champ will have the remainder of his training camp.