OG Bolt Chris Ross glad to see Meralco 'put in the work' 14 years into PBA stint

Although now with San Miguel, Chris Ross reserved a special place in his heart for Meralco. PBA Images
By Ivan Saldajeno

PASIG--Chris Ross was one of the former Sta. Lucia players who were absorbed into the then-new Meralco squad when Mega Manila's power provider made its way back to professional basketball through the PBA in 2010.

After a so-so debut season in the 2010-2011 calendar, the Bolts established themselves as playoff contenders in the next two seasons before they consummated what would be Ross' career-altering trade with the San Miguel Beermen.

Fast forward to Monday, two days before SMB and Meralco clash in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Ross, who became a key member of the Beermen's 10 recent championships, is glad to see the Bolts also becoming title contenders.

"They put in the work. They've had some heartbreaks but for them to be in their first all-Filipino finals 14 years in, it's amazing for them," Ross said after the pre-finals press conference at the Crowne Plaza Ballroom.

Now starring for Meralco is Chris Newsome, who has been with the team since he was drafted fourth overall in 2015 and has become one of the reasons why the club has made it to five PBA finals appearances including the upcoming best-of-seven affair against SMB.

Being teammates with Gilas Pilipinas last year, Ross felt Newsome's desire to win a championship.

"Being with New in the SEA Games and the Asian Games, I know how bad he wants it," Ross said of Newsome.

Newsome's will to win bore fruit when Gilas won the golds in both athletic meets' 5-on-5 basketball events.

Now a three-time gold medalist including his 2019 SEA Games 3x3 gold, Newsome, according to Ross, looks to instill his championship mantra with Gilas to the Bolts, who are hungry to finally win their first PBA title.

"I know that he's passing that knowledge onto his team. I've seen some of the videos he posted," Ross further said.

With a fifth date with destiny looming, Ross expressed optimism for what his former team would do in the championship round against his current club.

"I'm excited for those guys because I've been cheering for those guys from afar. Just because that franchise gave me an opportunity to show what I can do in this league. I've got a special place in my heart for those guys," Ross continued.

However, while he hopes Meralco will finally win it all, he said that SMB would deny them that this conference.

"I hope they win a championship but just not this one," Ross said in jest.

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