MANILA, Philippines – Chris Ross had his own Lebron James moment.
Well, sort of.
Ross served as the sparkplug in San Miguel's 132-94 annihilation of Barangay Ginebra in Game 3 of the 2018 PBA Commissioner's Cup finals on Wednesday, August 1, after waxing hot from deep with 7 3-pointers.
The do-it-all guard finished with 23 points on top of 7 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals as the Beermen gained a 2-1 lead in the best-of-7 duel.
He did all that despite unusually donning a headband to cover a forehead wound he sustained following an inadvertent elbow from teammate Renaldo Balkman late in the second quarter.
"I don't know if y'all remember LeBron couple of years ago, he was wearing the headband and he took it off and he had a great game. So this is like the reverse and I love it," Ross told reporters after the win.
Ross was referring to the NBA superstar's "The Headband Game" in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals.
During that game, James lost his trademark headband early in the 4th quarter but went on to submit 32 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists, 3 steals and a block to lead the Miami Heat to a series-tying 103-100 overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs.
In that span without his headband, "The King" had 12 points, 3 rebounds, 2 assists, one steal and one block.
As fans remember, James went on to dominate Game 7 and the Heat secured their second straight title.
It was the exact opposite in Ross' case.
After getting his wound patched up, the 33-year-old – who connected on 4 triples in the first half – drained 3 straight treys in the 3rd quarter to help the Beermen swing a measly 53-51 halftime lead to a 73-62 advantage.
That was the point where the Beermen finally pulled away for good and enjoyed a lead as big as 40 points late in the payoff period.
"I think I shot the most threes I have in my career in the game today. So luckily, I was able to get some to go in and my teammates were telling me to just keep shooting."
With a headband on, Ross registered 9 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals.
But make no mistake, he is not sticking to the accessory.
"I don't want make a habit of wearing headbands. It's not comfortable for me. Hopefully we could stitch it up and stop the bleeding and I'll be ready to play on Friday," Ross said.
Ross and the Beermen shoot for a commanding 3-1 lead in Game 4 on Friday, August 3, at the Araneta Coliseum. – Rappler.com
Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.