Chemistry between Ross, Lassiter made SMB’s winning play happen
Count on San Miguel to draw up one final intoxicating play.
With the Beermen pressed for time in finishing off bottom-dwelling Kia, the reigning Philippine Cup champions turned to the crafty partnership of Chris Ross and Marcio Lassiter.
San Miguel (8-2) and the Picanto (1-10) were tied at 106 with 1.8 seconds remaining and Ross was given the task to inbound the ball.
Ross, listed at a generous 6-foot-2, had the 6-foot-6 Jon Gabriel in front of him in the sideline when he whizzed past a pinpoint bounce pass to Lassiter who banked the ball off the glass for San Miguel’s game-winner in the 108-106 victory.
Lassiter said the play was never practiced and it was his chemistry with Ross, his teammate for almost five years, that allowed for the play to be completed.
“We don’t practice that, good thing we have chemistry,” said Lassiter Friday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I’m just glad that he was able to make the pass and I was able to convert it.”
“Marcio and I talked about it before he went out, he said that he was going to push his man up some more,” said Ross. “Usually, when Marcio and I run some of our sets, he’ll put a guy on his back and I’ll just throw it to him.”
Before Ross bounced the ball under Gabriel’s right arm, Lassiter first muscled his way against Jan Jamon in the lane to get a good position under the basket.
And just like clockwork, Lassiter turned the play into an alley-oop that kissed the glass with the softest of touches.
“I had the ball over my head, I couldn’t throw a chest pass, I had to put enough power on it to get it there and luckily it bounced right to him,” said Ross, who had nine points and 10 assists.
Before Lassiter made the game-winner, though, he first made a three-pointer from the corner with 47.5 seconds left that tied the game.
“I just tried to stay at the moment during the game-tying three and the last shot,” said Lassiter who finished with 22 points. “Just being in the moment and just being ready if the ball comes to me, just being ready to shoot and that’s what happened.”
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