Things got chippy, mostly in the fourth quarter. First was the celebrated shove that Beerman Von Pessumal gave to former teammate Kiefer Ravena. This was then followed by the confrontation between Alex Mallari and Chris Ross and then the ‘kick to the groin’ by Michael Miranda – again on Ross.
But the highlight of the night was the confrontation between Ross and NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao. After the game, SMB coach Leo Austria bared that Ross flared up when the fiery NLEX mentor hurled racial slurs at the Fil-American guard.
Austria was thankful that the game was beyond reach, he, however, reasoned that the incident should serve as fair warning – especially to the players. Ross is the main guard of the Beermen and the multi-titled coach added that the case would have been different if it were a close game.
While Ross opted not to talk about the incident, Guiao said he never used the “N-Word” against the SMB guard. According to Tempo: “Hindi ko sinabi ang ‘N-word’. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig doon. Anong na-offend siya?”
In the same article, Guiao mentioned that Ross was having words with the players on the NLEX side. Being the one standing and calling the shots, the temperamental mentor may have been in no mood for the jawing and thus joined the trash-talking melee.
Guiao admitted that the game was practically decided and only wanted respect. The debate could have been about the previous plays – either against Mallari or Miranda. Aside from the two, Ross also fell prey to Raul Soyud when the big man was providing a pick for his teammates.
It remains to be seen if fines or suspensions will be handed out. For Ross or any other player for that matter, it may have been wiser to clam up and just avoid discussing sweet nothings – especially with the game already won.