MANILA, Philippines – Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone swiftly declined to comment on a shouting incident involving Chris Ross and the rest of San Miguel following a 99-88 win by the Beermen in Game 3 of the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup Finals.
Guard Ross, who had a game-high 24 points in the victory, hit the last shot of the game, a 3-pointer, with the result already decided. And as in the past, this infuriated the 19-time champion coach.
Cone was heard and seen yelling inside the hallway as both teams headed for the locker rooms. But when asked to comment he chose to stay mum.
"I have no comment about it," was his curt reply.
Ross also kept his comments short.
"Nothing. Nothing. What happened? I don't know what happened," Ross said, before explaining his last trey.
"There's a shot clock, and they're playing defense on me, so I took the shot, it's basketball. I don't think I did anything wrong."
Austria clarified there was no intention to disrespect Ginebra by taking another shot during "garbage time."
"He wants to win. They all want to win, even Chris Ross. Talagang papakamatay siya (He will die for the ball), to the point that I'm stopping him to take the shot, the 3-pointer, that's why I wanted to call a timeout but he was upbeat. So he still shot it," Austria explained.
"It was 26 seconds remaining, and I think he feels we should not reach the 24-second shot clock so he took the shot. Unfortunately he made the shot."
"E during game nga pinababayaan niyong tumira si Chris Ross. Ngayon, 'yun pa, wala na siyang pressure, nagbakasakali. E pumasok," he pointed out how defenses usually let Ross take shots, knowing he is more of a defensive ace than an offensive threat.
(But during the game they even leave Chris Ross to shoot. And then now, he didn't have any pressure, he made an attempt. And it went in.)
"They got mad because they thought it was disrespect. But nothing, that's not the intention. The kid was just pumped up."
Ross took to Twitter after Wednesday's, March 1 game, saying he was not shouting at anyone.
I wasn't in a shouting match with anyone in the hallway. I was in the locker room getting my mind ready for game 4!! See y'all Friday — Chris Ross (@cmross6) March 1, 2017
Game 4 of this series is on Friday, March 3, with San Miguel now leading the best-of-7 series, 2-1. – Rappler.com