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A witness to his hard work, Chris Ross gives props to good pal Chris Newsome

PBA: Chris Newsome and Chris Ross

They may had been on opposite sides of the court in the PBA, but Chris Ross and Chris Newsome's bond goes beyond the hardwood.

The two guards are very familiar with each other, having represented Gilas Pilipinas together multiple times. They were part of the team that reclaimed the gold medal for the Philippines in the Cambodia Southeast Asian Games in 2023 and months after, returned to Gilas for the Asian Games, where they helped deliver the country’s first gold medal in six decades.

And even though Ross’ San Miguel lost in the PBA Philippine Cup Finals for the first time since 2011 after Newsome’s familiar baseline game-winner in Game 6 last Sunday, he bears no hard feelings. If anything, the 39-year-old vet might have been just as happy to see his good friend earn his first taste of a championship.

"New played amazing. [He] did everything for that team. He was doing everything whether defending, making big shots, making right plays," Ross said on the heels of the 80-78 squeaker.

"New was amazing this series. Even today, he was 4 for 17, he didn't shoot the ball particularly well but that didn't change his mindset going for that last shot."

Ross has seen just how much work Newsome has been put in over the past years, especially with their experience together with Gilas.

Those short but memorable times together were enough for Ross to see the love Newsome has for the game.


Asian Games - October 6, 2023 - Gold medalists Gilas Pilipinas celebrate during the medal ceremony of the Men's Games. Photo: REUTERS/Marko Djurica


"Just being around him, spending time with him. We were in the Asian Games, we ate across from each other every day, we just picked each other's brains," Ross added.

"We didn't really talk about basketball when we were there. We just talked about life. He's a great person, so I couldn't be more happy for him."

But Ross, as a true competitor, said the loss would only fuel him for the next time they lace it up against each other.

"But I'm not happy. Literally I wish we would've won, but they deserved it, man. They beat us fair and square. Just gotta take it how it is, and gotta bounce back next time."

—JMB, GMA Integrated News