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    Jericho Cruz always aspires to play for Gilas, but welcomes Guam chance

    Jan 22, 2020
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    NO player would pass up the chance to represent a country in the international competitions.

    And that rings true for Jericho Cruz, who was called up by Guam for the February window of the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers.

    "Every player would want to play internationally," he told Spin.ph after being included in Guam's 24-man pool for games against Hong Kong and New Zealand.

    The NLEX guard made it clear that he aspired to play for the Philippines, an honor he was able to accomplish in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games where the Sinag team won the gold medal in Naypyidaw.

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    Unfortunately, the 6-foot-1 slasher wasn't able to receive any more invites from Gilas since then.

    "One of my dreams talaga is to play for the Philippines, but luck isn’t on my side here," he admitted. "I’m blessed and honored to be a part of Guam’s national team."

    Cruz is no stranger to representing the United States territory. The 29-year-old guard wore the colors of the Northern Mariana Islands in the 2009 FIBA Oceania Tournament in Saipan and the 2010 Micronesian Games in Palau.

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      Although Cruz was included in the shortlist, he said that there are still ongoing negotiations between the national team and the Road Warriors.

      "Nag-uusap pa naman sila boss Ronald (Dulatre) and coach EJ (Calvo) kung papayagan ako," he said. "So far the conversations are doing good, but they need to consider a lot of things before they can finally decide. Whatever decision will be, I will respect that."

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      Still, Cruz sees this as a chance for him to further improve his game which he can carry over to NLEX in the upcoming 2020 PBA Philippine Cup.

      "I know it’s gonna be a great experience, too, so I can carry it over when I play for NLEX this season," he said.

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      PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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