PBA: Jericho Cruz thrives in playoff physicality for San Miguel

PBA: Jericho Cruz thrives in playoff physicality for San Miguel

/ 09:19 PM January 19, 2024

Jericho Cruz San Miguel Beer PBA

San Miguel Beer guard Jericho Cruz during the PBA Commissioner’s Cup quarterfinals against Rain or Shine.-MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines—Jericho Cruz isn’t the type to back down from physicality.

In fact, the rugged San Miguel Beer guard seems to flourish in a rough-and-tumble encounter just like Friday’s quarterfinal affair between the Beermen and the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

In the third quarter, Cruz took several hits and bumps that even saw him hit the deck at one point.

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That didn’t appear to faze Cruz, though. After all, it’s what the playoffs are about.

“We just have to stay healthy and take care of ourselves. We all know that in these playoffs, we have a game every other day so our health is important. As a player, I’m here to do my job,” said Cruz.

“Whether I get hurt or even injured, this is our work so we need to suck it up and go through with the pain.”

Jericho Cruz Terrence Romeo Bennie Boatwright San Miguel Beer PBA

San Miguel Beer’s Terrence Romeo, left, Jericho Cruz and Bennie Boatwright.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

It wasn’t just Cruz, who played his first four seasons with Rain or Shine, who had to overcome physical play.

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His teammate Terrence Romeo had a heated moment with the Painters’ Jhonard Clarito in the payoff period.

But as veterans, Cruz and Romeo managed to keep their head in the game as they combined for 35 points off the bench to help San Miguel Beer secure a semifinals slot with a 127-122 win.

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“It’s not new to them and moving forward maybe we should go back to the drawing board. After this game, whoever wins [in the other bracket], our coaches are really doing well to prepare us for whoever we’re facing,” said Cruz, who led all locals with 20 points on a blistering 7-of-10 shooting from the field.

San Miguel Beer will face Barangay Ginebra in the semifinals. The Gin Kings sent the Batang Pier packing with a 106-93 win in their quarterfinals matchup Friday night.

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TAGS: Jericho Cruz, PBA, PBA Commissioner's Cup, San Miguel Beermen

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