Chris Ross after another SMB loss: We have to play better
Chris Ross isn’t one for excuses after San Miguel dropped its second loss in its last three outings in the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup.
“We just got to play better,” he said, moments after his side suffered a shock 96-106 defeat to Blackwater on Friday. “Every game’s close, so we just got to play better.”
With the Elite on fire from distance for the entirety of the game going 13-of-25 from three, the famed Beermen starters failed to find a spark and suffered the upset to fall for only the second time in eight games.
Ross finished the game with a near triple-double effort with his 20 points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Of course, part of those struggles root from the absence of Alex Cabagnot, who is still at the sidelines nursing a plantar fasciitis injury, as San Miguel scampers for an able replacement to fill up the absence of the veteran guard — a fact that Ross acknowledged.
“We’re still trying to figure out ways to fill that void. We’ve had Brian (Heruela) do it in a game and Chico (Lanete) do it in a game. But we can’t just rely on one of those guys, it has to be a team effort,” he said. “Alex will be back soon, but we can’t wait on that. Injuries are part of the game and we just have to figure it out somehow, some way.”
The loss, though, was shocking enough to trigger alarms given that these shortcomings happened late in the eliminations, a time where the Beermen should be fine-tuning their weaponry going into the quarterfinals.
For Ross, that should pose as a legitimate challenge for the four-peat seeking squad.
“We got to be ready for that challenge because we’re going to get everyone’s best punch every night out and we just got to prepare for that,” he said.
And that should start as soon as next Saturday in Batangas when San Miguel takes on Alaska in a surefire intense duel between two of the current league leaders.
“They’re the hottest team in the league right now and we got a week to get prepared, rest our bodies, and get ready for them because that’s going to be a battle,” he said. “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.”
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