Ross wants Beermen considered as one of best teams ever
Making history is not the only motivation for San Miguel Beer heading into the 2018 Philippine Cup Finals against Magnolia starting Friday night.
The Beermen are aiming to become the only team in PBA history to win a fourth straight all-Filipino title, a feat that guard Chris Ross believes would build a legitimate case for his team as one of the best squads ever.
“I mean we know that there’s a lot of work to do, and winning a championship is never easy. We have a really tough opponent,” said Ross. “They’re in the Finals for a reason, and they’re playing really good basketball. But we’re really playing for something.”
“We’re trying to be in the conversation of [being] one of the best PBA teams ever. We never talk about it, as far as we want to be the best PBA team ever to play, but I think if we’re blessed enough to win this championship, and keep winning going forward, I think we can put ourself in the conversation. That’s what we really want.”
Extending their dominance in the Philippine Cup and following it up with a Grand Slam would definitely make the Beermen a great argument as far as ranking among the all-time great teams is concerned.
San Miguel has the pieces to keep winning.
A two-time Finals MVP, Ross is a major part of San Miguel’s championship reign that began in the 2015 Philippine Cup, but he’s just one fifth of the Beermen’s fearsome five that have allowed the team to win five championships in nine conferences.
Apart from the do-it-all Ross, the Beermen also have the best player in the country in reigning four-time MVP June Mar Fajardo, a dead-shot in Marcio Lassiter, a clutch performer in Alex Cabagnot and a defensive ace and floor spacer in Arwind Santos.
Add the fact that they flaunt a deep bench as well with the likes of Matt Ganuelas-Rosser, Brian Heruela and Gabby Espinas, who are capable of contributing in a number of ways on both ends of the floor.
There’s also the impending arrival of Fil-German bruiser Christian Standhardinger, whom San Miguel Beer took as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 PBA Draft. He will make his much-awaited debut next conference.
The Beermen are tipped to pull off a Philippine Cup ‘four-peat,’ not that the Hotshots, who are loaded from top to bottom, aren’t worthy challengers, but Ross and Co. are just that good.
“I’ve been asked if what we have is destiny or dynasty. I answered that it’s tradition. I hope we make it as our tradition to always win the all-Filipino,” said SMB head coach Leo Austria, who is 5-0 in the finals.
Ross and the rest of the Beermen are so accustomed to winning that they’ve developed an insatiable hunger for greatness. More than winning and making history, it’s creating a legacy.
“Of course we wanna win championships, but we wanna be remembered and known, 20, 30, 40 years from now,” the 33-year-old Ross said.