Carl Bryan Cruz comes to the rescue of ailing Aces
Carl Bryan Cruz steps up for Alaska.
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Wednesday, February 6, 2019
MANILA, Philippines—With Alaska playing without most of its starting five in the early part of the PBA Philippine Cup, Carl Bran Cruz picked the perfect time to put on a show.
Cruz had a game-high 20 points with nine rebounds to lead the Aces to a 94-72 walloping of Columbian Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena in a game Alaska badly needed to win.
The Aces were coming off a sorry 85-72 loss against Rain or Shine and they were obviously missing the help of Vic Manuel, JVee Casio, Simon Enciso, and Kevin Racal.
“All I could think of was this was my opportunity because we didn’t have our main guys like Vic,” said Cruz in Filipino. “Simply put, this was my chance so I had to step up and just give it my all.”
Cruz was dormant for all of the third quarter but turned it up a notch in the fourth, scoring 12 points with the Aces already well in the lead, 68-50, to start the period.
“It’s hard playing without the main guys especially without our guards but it was our system that really brought us to the win,” said Cruz. “Whoever coach Alex [Compton] called, even though we didn’t have a star player inside the court, played within the system.”
The bounce back victory, which hiked the Aces’ record to 1-1, was proof of how they learned from their mistakes from the last loss, said Cruz.
“Coach Alex told us that this was our opportunity to correct our mistakes from the first game,” said Cruz. “It just showed here in the second game how much we’ve improved. We did not just improve individually but we were able to adjust.”
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