ANTIPOLO CITY - It is what it is as Carl Bryan Cruz accepted his fate following the suspension handed on him by FIBA in the aftermath of the fight-marred game between Gilas Pilipinas and Australia.
The Alaska rookie was remorseful for his action which cost him a five-game ban and meant missing majority of the second round of the FIBA World Cup qualifier.
"Regretful ako sa nangyari na suspended ako for five games dahil hindi ako makakatulong sa team," said Cruz, the first player to speak about the FIBA sanctions which the world governing body for basketball handed out on Thursday.
The big man out of Far Eastern University was bracing for the worst, but was thankful the suspension didn't stretch all the way to his stint in the PBA.
He added there were lessons learned in the wake of the July 2 brawl, one of the worst seen during a FIBA-sanctioned tournament.
"No. 1 is to control your emotions and isipin mo yung makakabuti sa basketball career mo," added Cruz.
"Pero nangyari na at pinagsisisihan ko naman yun."
On this rainy Friday night at the Ynares Center here, Cruz hardly showed the effects of the FIBA suspension as he was part of the bench mob that help Alaska carried out a 125-104 win over defending champion San Miguel to stay alive in the PBA Commissioner's Cup semifinals.
Cruz had five points and four rebounds as the Aces outscored the Beermen in bench points, 71-32, in Game Three to cut the deficit at 1-2 in the best-of-five series.
"Crucial ito (win) dahil one win na lang pasok na sila sa finals," he said of the Beermen.
"Kami naman one game at a time lang. Salamat din na maganda yung start namin," Cruz added.
Game 4 of the series is set Sunday.