MANILA, Philippines – Before the curtain fell on the 2017 PBA Philippine Cup, San Miguel point guard Chris Ross and Ginebra coach Tim Cone made sure to clear the air stemming from their dust-up in Game 3 of the Finals.
Cone and Ross had a heated exchange of words at the end of San Miguel's 99-88 win in Game 3 last March 1, after the SMB point guard launched and converted a three-pointer with the game already well in hand for the Beermen.
Neither the coach nor the player commented on the incident, despite witnesses reporting the two had a shouting match at the Araneta Center hallway.
As time ticked down on SMB's title-clinching 91-85 victory in Game 5, however, Ross approached Cone at the Ginebra sideline and talked to the multi-titled mentor. The two shook hands as the buzzer sounded, and Ross went on to celebrate with his teammates, and was eventually named Finals MVP.
"It was just about two guys that have respect for each other," Ross said of the moment. "We let each other know how we felt about each other."
"He said it's in the past, he congratulated me on the win, and I congratulated him on all his success," he added. "That was it."
The incident between Ross and Cone in Game 3 added more color to an already emotional Finals match-up, but it clearly had no impact on the point guard's performance.
Ross was in control all throughout the series, and was at his best in the title-clinching Game 5, when he dissected Ginebra for 12 points, 10 assists, eight rebounds, and six steals.
Ross averaged 17.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 9.2 assists in five games.
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