With their backs against the wall, the San Miguel Beermen drew out the performance of a lifetime from out of a hat to extend their PBA Philippine Cup finals series with the Alaska Aces to at least a Game 5.
One of the heroes of the game, guard Chris Ross said that it was big man June Mar Fajardo – awarded as best player of the conference prior to Game 4 – who they latched on as their inspiration.
“It’s was huge just to see [June Mar Fajardo]. Even when he came to practice yesterday, everyone smiled and hugged. It was big,” said Ross.
”It was fun to have him here in the game supporting us, clapping his hands everytime we came off the bench and telling us to keep it up. So it’s good to have the support of the most valuable player,” Ross added.
The San Miguel Beermen stared down at an 11 point deficit entering the final three minutes of the fourth quarter, putting up a 16-2 tear to come within four seconds of snatching the win in regulation, 98-95.
Ross, who was at the center of both the offense and defensive engine, said that the team left it all out on the floor to get the all-important victory and avoid becoming the first team in PBA history to be swept in their Philippine Cup title defense.
“It was pride. We didn’t want to get swept. It was all about pride, heart, and putting everything out there,” said Ross of his near triple double outing of 11 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists.