Honored Chris Ross on SEA Games call-up: I’ve got some energy to give
Accustomed to playing long conferences for San Miguel Beer in the PBA, Chris Ross said it’s jarring to have so much free time.
Fortunately for the champion playmaker, he got a national team call-up. So count on him to spend all his extra zest to help Gilas Pilipinas in his extraordinary task in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia.
“I haven’t played (in a while),” he told the Inquirer. “We lost in the semifinals of the last two (PBA) conferences. The last time I played in the Finals was back in September, so I’m really excited to have this.”
“I want to get out there and play especially for the national team because it’s always a pleasure for me. You know, I’ve got some energy to give,” he added.
Ross is one of the many pros tapped to possibly backstop a Philippine crew tasked to reclaim the basketball gold in the biennial meet.
But he is among an elite few in the pool who actually knows what it takes to win in the SEA Games, having been a part of the 2019 squad—which includes Christian Standhardinger and Marcio Lassiter—that won in Manila.
So count on Ross to pair his eagerness with his experience in helping Gilas in his bid for redemption. Tim Cone, who called the shots during that homestand, already knows Ross would.
“(This) doesn’t come all the time. Especially for the Fil-Ams, because the Fil-Ams aren’t allowed to simply represent their country,” the seasoned mentor said, alluding to the Fiba eligibility rules that have kept the likes of Ross from playing as a local.
“The Southeast Asian Games allows you to do that. So this is the one opportunity they could do it. These guys are really hungry. That’ll be our edge,” he said.
Truly, Ross has always been hungry for a chance to represent the country.
“I mean, I just take it as a privilege, man. Whenever my name comes up in the pool, I’m honored. I always tell Chot (Reyes) whenever we cross paths that if you need me I’ll be there,” the 38-year-old ace said.
“Like I keep saying, there are tournaments few and far between I’m eligible for. So I really take pride in that,” he added.
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