June 22, 2024

Veteran value: Tim Cone reveals why little-used Chris Ross was huge in Gilas' Asian Games conquest

Veteran value: Tim Cone reveals why little-used Chris Ross was huge in Gilas
FIBA/Ariya Kurniawan

Although he had limited time on the floor, Chris Ross was still one of the most integral parts of the Gilas Pilipinas team that won an Asian Games gold recently.

This was what what coach Tim Cone bared in the latest episode of PlayitrightTV.

Cone essentially said Ross was the glue guy who helped bring the team together as it made do with the short window for preparation it had heading into the Hangzhou, China showpiece.

“Chris may have not played a lot of minutes on the floor, but behind the scenes he was the chemistry guy. It took so much pressure off of me,” said Cone, whose team also grappled with lineup issues.

Cone went on to pay the 38-year-old San Miguel Beermen playmaker the ultimate compliment.

“Chris was the one who was getting people together, talking it out. He did so much stuff,” the American mentor said.

“Even if he had not played a minute on the floor, he would have been one of our most valuable players because of his ability to continually work on chemistry. That really helped out.”

Gilas edged home team China in the semifinals in a game that saw Justin Brownlee put up a legendary performance before getting the better of the Rondae Hollis-Jefferson-led Jordan in the gold-medal match.

The conquest ended a 61-year dry spell for the basketball-crazy Philippines.

And Ross, evidently, was among the unsung heroes of that conquest.

Now, the veteran defensive specialist will be turning his attention back to the San Miguel Beermen, where he will likely get more playing time as one of the team's old reliables. And best believe he will bring to the Beermen the same intangibles he brought to Gilas as he looks to lead San Miguel to more titles.