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Chris Ross says right arm hurt during rare clutch FT airball in SMB's semis opener vs Ginebra

Chris Ross appeared to have hurt his arm while trying to keep the ball away from Maverick Ahanmisi, leading to his first airballed free throw since his high school days. Dennis Acosta
By Ivan Saldajeno

QUEZON CITY—San Miguel point guard Chris Ross could have made life a bit harder for Ginebra to catch up late into Game 1 of their PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinal series on Wednesday night.

However, in an interesting turn of events, Ross, a relatively steady free throw shooter, air-balled the first of his two charities with 11 seconds left in the game, which according to him was the first time he missed a free throw that bad since his high school days.

Ross, though, bared that he felt some pain in his arm while taking the free throw.

"I got the rebound, and then, I felt like a cramp or a strain on my tricep. And it just wouldn't go away. I was gonna try to call a timeout, but I thought I could shake it off. But then that first shot, I shot it as hard as I could. It barely hit the net," Ross said.

Before the free throws, Maverick Ahanmisi fouled Ross while going for the steal after the latter secured the rebound off Christian Standhardinger's missed jumper.

The foul may have had an impact on Ross' right arm as Ahanmisi tried to swipe the ball away from his right side.

With the new PBA rule disallowing players from calling a timeout during live ball situations in adherence to the FIBA rules, Gin Kings head coach Tim Cone decided to use his last timeout in between Ross' free throws to map out their plan for the clutch basket should Ross miss his second free throw, although that also meant Ross got to shake off the pain at least for a minute and a half.

Ross indeed missed his second charity, but June Mar Fajardo grabbed the offensive to give the Beermen another chance to extend their lead.

Fajardo still kept the door open for Ginebra to at least force overtime as he only went 1-for-2 in his own trip to the foul line, but Christian Standhardinger failed to secure Scottie Thompson's pass, leading to Bennie Boatwright's steal that effectively iced SMB's win.

"It's all good as long as we won," Ross further said.

Chris Ross to undergo check-up on his injured arm

However, with Game 2 happening in two nights' time at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, he said that he would quickly see a doctor regarding his now apparent tricep injury.

"I think I'm going to get a check-up tomorrow if it doesn't feel better, but hopefully it'll go away," Ross further said.

However, he insisted that unless the injury is worse than he thinks that could sideline him eventually, he will play through the pain in Game 2.

"I'm a warrior. I play through all injuries, so if it's not broken or fully torn, I'mma play," Ross said.

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno

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