MANILA, Philippines — While Chris Ross believes that fatigue should be a non-factor in the PBA finals, he also thinks that a bit of rest helps.
But primarily, it’s to draw collective effort.
In San Miguel’s series-opening blowout win over Ginebra on Friday, the Beermen’s starters played under 30 minutes. It was only Arwind Santos who saw action for half an hour.
“That’s huge for us, man,” Ross, the best player of the game expressed. “On Tuesday (against TNT in the semifinals) we all played over 40 minutes except for June Mar (Fajardo).”
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“It’s huge for us—the starters—to get some rest,” he added. But at the same time, the PBA’s top defender explained it also enables the other players to see action.
“It’s for our bench to get some confidence,” he noted. “Our bench guys came in and played well. Brian Heruela did an amazing job, Gabby (Espinas) played well, Keith (Agovida) played well. Those guys coming off the bench is the key for us.”
Espinas paced the reinforcements with 15 points. Agovida added seven while Heruela finished the game with four markers, three boards, two assists and two steals.
The San Miguel bench accounted for 42 markers, outgunning Ginebra’s starters who only made 19.
Everyone in the San Miguel crew but RR Garcia—who was nursing a hurt shoulder from the KaTropa series—was able to play.
“We know we’re not going to win the championship with just five [guys]. We need everybody on the roster and their game. And when their number is called, they need to contribute,” Ross stated.
“We’ve logged a lot of minutes, and they’ve logged a lot of minutes. There’s no such thing as fatigue in the Finals,” he added.
Prior to Game One, Ross thought the grinding and pounding they took from the semis sharpened the team as a whole. With a win down, the pesky guard maintained that they should maintain their lethal edge as the road is only going to get tougher for them.
“We’re only up 1-0. No matter if we won by won tonight or by 50, it’s still 1-0,” he said.
“Coach Tim (Cone) is one of the best coaches in the PBA so I’m sure he’ll be up all night watching film and he’ll make adjustments for them tomorrow.”
Source: Philippine Star Sports