X-factor: After Finals MVP run, cross gets heavier for Chris Ross

After their embarrassing exit last year in the Commissioner’s Cup, the San Miguel Beermen made sure they’ve learned their lessons well. 

The Beermen is getting closer to exorcising that ghost with the top seed and twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.

Aside from hiring a talented import and getting back June Mar Fajardo from another injury scare, a big part of the Beermen’s current success now is the emergence of Chris Ross. The Fil-Am point guard has managed to carry the momentum of his Finals MVP run last conference to become a solid contributor all throughout the elimination round.

“We know the type of conference we had last Commissioner’s Cup. So we’re using that as a motivation,” Chris Ross told FOX Sports on Wednesday night.

Ross is averaging 8.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 2 steals this conference.  His role will be crucial as the Beermen will shoot for a semifinal berth against sister team Star Hotshots.

Ross, who has morphed from just a defensive specialist to a two-way player with the addition of an occasional jumper to his arsenal, is expected to get Star playmaker Mark Barroca as his defensive assigment.

Barroca will try to lead a severely depleted Star backcourt in the playoffs but if Ross can bring his A-game on defense, then it’s going to be a short series.

After his Finals performance last conference, the expectation grew higher for the 6-foot-1 guard.  It’s the cross Ross has to carry in the playoffs. – By Alder Almo

Follow this writer on Twitter: @alderalmo