MANILA, Philippines – To reach the PBA Philippine Cup finals for the fifth straight time and to stay healthy.
Those were the points of emphasis for San Miguel, and it accomplished both of its goals as it dispatched Phoenix in just 5 games of their best-of-seven semifinals affair.
The series was distinguished by its highly physical nature, with players jawing at each other, elbows and punches thrown, bodies crashing the floor and countless technical and flagrant fouls whistled.
It was as intense as it could get, and Chris Ross is relieved that the Beermen remained in optimum form to shoot for a fifth consecutive All-Filipino championship.
"I'm just glad everyone got out somewhat healthy. There were times when guys weren't even trying to play basketball," he said.
"They just did whatever they wanted to do. I'm just glad we got out healthy and done with the series."
Ross showed he did not want the series to go any further as he fired 24 points off 5 triples with 6 steals, 4 assists, and 3 rebounds in the closeout 105-94 Game 5 win on Thursday, April 25.
"I really haven't been aggressive all series and I kind of wanted to put my stamp on this series to kind of end it because some of those guys are doing some crazy things," he said.
"I just wanted my game to do the talking."
Now back in the championship round for the first time since its finals loss to Barangay Ginebra in the Commissioner's Cup last year, San Miguel obviously does not want to end the conference on a bitter note.
"We know after we lost the finals, I told the guys, 'Remember how this feels. Remember how defeat feels.' When we get back to the finals, we don't want to feel that again," Ross said. – 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.