MANILA, Philippines – Chris Ross is one of Leo Austria's prized players and the San Miguel coach does not want him to commit petty technical fouls just because of his intense attitude.
Ross figured in a verbal spat with Columbian import John Fields midway through the 3rd quarter of the Beermen's 129-117 win over the Dyip and they were slapped double technical fouls.
The two got into it several times and they needed to be separated by teammates and game officials before things turned ugly.
While San Miguel won convincingly – with Ross turning in an all-around effort of 10 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and two steals – Austria hopes the spitfire guard tones it down.
"We know Chris Ross naman eh, that's one way to distract the opponent. It happens, and I think nagkaroon ng impact eh. But to the point na I told him na, dapat hindi magkakaroon ng technical ano, warning lang ano," said Austria.
(We know Chris, that's one way to distract the opponent. It happens, and I think there was an impact. But I told him not to the point that he gets a technical, maybe just a warning.)
"Alam naman natin si Chris Ross, his attitude is really to win eh. He will do everything, even makipag-away siya doon, gagawin niya. I like his attitude, but sana to a certain limit ano. Every game, talagang he wants to pump up the team eh."
(We know Chris Ross, his attitude is really to win. He will do everything, even if he needs to fight, he will do it. I like his attitude, but I hope he will keep it to a certain limit. He wants to pump up the team every game.)
Ross, meanwhile, dismissed the word war, saying it was not him who initiated it.
"I never start anything. When people start to talk to me, my blood gets flowing a little bit. It kind of got my blood flowing and it felt good. It's just basketball. None more than that," he said.
Austria, Ross and the rest of the Beermen have less than a week to prepare before their game against the GlobalPort Batang Pier on June 13 at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.