Trailing by 20 in the final period, San Miguel unleashed an onslaught made possible by defending solidly, getting stops, and draining big shots towards the end of the game.
It was surely not the easiest of wins, but the Beermen would happily take it.
Chris Ross singled out effort as the difference-maker in the second half, allowing the Beermen to fight back.
“It’s all about effort. We know what they are going to run and they know what we are going to run. If you can get stops and show effort for 48 minutes you will have a good chance of winning the game,” Ross shared.
“It’s the semi-finals. It is going to be a war especially with those guys. Every game is going to be a war. It is going to get tougher to win a championship. Winning the series is not going to be easy. The longer we get, the tougher the games are going to be.”
“Si Chris Ross, sa practice, depensa talaga eh. That’s why he was named one of the defensive players of the year,” Ronald Tubid, one of the guys also responsible for the turnaround, shared.
Together with a rag-tag second group, Ross brought his defensive presence to the game, bothering passing lanes and stripping the ball off of Rain or Shine guards with his impeccable timing.
Ross had seven steals and was a plus-16, and even made a clutch three that handed San Miguel a 108-105 lead in the final two minutes.
“The guys know what I do out there and I know what I can bring so I just go out there and play hard when my number is called. You don’t play basketball your whole life. You will never know if this is your last game. Every time I step on the court I give it my all, whether it is an elimination or semi-finals game or finals game. I will play as hard as I can,” Ross shared.
But the playmaker knows not every game will be the same. With Rain or Shine in their best form in years, the Beermen must do a better job of starting the game and not allowing the other side to get momentum right away.
“We have to bring our A game if we want to knock these guys out,” Ross said. Hopefully we can be ready and play 48 minutes of good basketball instead of 12 minutes. We have championship pedigree in the locker room. We have a champion coach and two MVPs. I think we all know what it takes to win games in the playoffs.”
One thing is for sure: San Miguel will need a lot of Ross’ energy and defensive bite throughout the series.
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“It’s just humbling, definitely.”
“That’s how it is, garbage into gold. Get anything, sweep up anything and try to put it back.”
Terrence Romeo invited to join Pilipinas 3×3 for World Cup
Stronger than ever
Romeo has plenty of 3×3 basketball experience under his belt.
The 2018 3X3 World Cup will take place from June 8-12 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Red Spikers extinguish Blazers for second win
The Red Spikers (2-1) will face the Mapua University, also at 2-1, on Friday, January 19.
Orian was such a presence at the net, ending up with 20 points for the Taft-based squad.