For reigning Defensive Player of the Year Chris Ross, it’s really not that easy to go out and play without one of the San Miguel Beermen’s major pieces in Alex Cabagnot, who is still out due to a plantar fasciitis.
The six-foot-one hustle guy admitted as much in the wake of the reigning, three-time all-Filipino champions’ shocking defeat at the hands of the Blackwater Elite, 96-106, Friday evening at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City.
“Alex is a huge part of our team like he’s a guy that can get his own shot and he’s averaging 20 points per game. We’re still trying to figure out ways to fill that void,” said Ross, who had 20 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists in the loss.
“We just have to figure it out somehow and some way.”
But more than the loss, which saw them lose grip of a slim 45-43 halftime lead, what Ross thinks the Beermen need to do right now — especially that the playoffs are nearing — is to simply play better than what they’re used to do.
“We got to find a way to just play better. We know teams aren’t just going to lay down just because we’re the three-time champions. We got to be ready for that challenge,” said Ross, who is averaging 11.4 points, 6.75 boards, and 6.1 dimes.
“Because we’re going to get everyone’s best punch every night out and we just got to prepare for that.”
And San Miguel definitely have to bring their A-game each and every night, especially in their next match which will be against the streaking Alaska Aces, who are currently riding a six-game winning streak.
“They’re the hottest team in the league right now and we got a week to get prepared and rest our bodies and get ready for them because that’s going to be a battle.”