FLEET-FOOTED on the court, Jericho Cruz is as just as quick in preparing for life after basketball.
The Rain or Shine combo guard has gone into his first business venture in his third year in the PBA. Along with wife Mosh and six other business partners, Cruz opened Papi Chulo’s, a Mexican restobar in BF Homes Parañaque, over the weekend.
“Hindi naman habambuhay we’re going to be a player, ‘di ba?” the 26-year-old guard said in a chat with SPIN.ph after practice. “Minsan swerte ka na maka-fifteen years sa PBA, so I’m making the most out of it, making the most out of my money.”
“Kung anong nae-earn ko sa PBA, I try to make smart investments,” added Cruz, who is fresh off a contract extension this offseason.
As he dives into his first big investment, Cruz is getting a lot of advice from entrepreneur/teammates Chris Tiu and James Yap.
“Kausap ko rin sila Chris, James, kumukuha akong ng advice sa kanila na what kind of business should I go into,” the Adamson product disclosed.
The initial opportunity came when his wife’s college friends broached the idea of putting up a restaurant.
“Mahilig ako kumain,” Cruz said when asked why they said yes. “At wala naman sigurong talo sa food eh, kasi everybody naman kailangan kumain.”
And after going on soft opening the last two months, the restaurant had its grand opening last Friday.
“Sobrang daming kumakain so I’m really happy talaga,” Cruz said of his resto-bar that offers Mexican street food staples, with elotes and burritos varieties as its specialties.
Asked if there’s competition against ROS teammate Gabe Norwood’s own Naxional restaurant that features similar South American cuisine, Cruz laughed it off.
“Hindi naman,” he said with a smile. “Sa Fort naman yung sa kanila. Kay Gabe kasi, more on fine dining. Sa amin, medyo chill place, parang resto-bar.”
Cruz swears the food is good, but if you want to try it for yourself, drive out to his resto located along Aguirre St. which is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“Kung may time kayo, you should try it out.”