ARTH Dela Cruz is raring to get back to his top form for Barangay Ginebra after suffering an injury late in the Commissioner’s Cup.
Dela Cruz said he has recovered from a groin injury that kept him out in the tailend of the previous conference. The Ginebra cager looked good in action during the Kings’ previous tune-up game last week against Magnolia where he played in the bulk of the fourth quarter.
“’Yung injury ko naman, wala na, nakapag-heal na,” said Dela Cruz. “Kailangan maintenance lang kasi hindi naman maiiwasan ‘yun. Sana malagpasan kasi hindi naman natin gusto.”
Dela Cruz was among one of the injured players of Barangay Ginebra during the Commissioner’s Cup, with Jeff Chan and Jared Dillinger the other two notables. Dela Cruz said he is eager to play especially with the Kings being knocked out in the semifinals against TNT.
“Nakikita ko na sana, makapagbounce back kami. Marami kaming nawala. Sinabihan din kami ni coach na malaki ‘yung nawala sa rotation nung nawala kami. Alam ko na dapat kasama ako. Dapat dumedepensa din ako at nakaka-contribute ako,” said Dela Cruz.
Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone is happy that the Kings are finally getting the three injured players from the previous conference back.
“Arth seems to be the healthiest at this point. For him, it’s about getting rhythm. Actually for all three of them, it’s about getting rhythm. We expect Jared to play more minutes and slowly build his minutes up. And then, Jeff will get more minutes as well,” said Cone.
Dela Cruz said he still has a long way to go to get to the rhythm that he wants.
“Masaya kasi ‘yun talaga hinihintay ko… Eto ‘yung pinaka-challenge na makabalik kami sa rhythm kasi matagal kami nag-break. Kapag nalagpasan mo ‘to, balik na sa kundisyon mo, balik na ‘yung timing mo sa laro,” Dela Cruz said.
“Mahaba pa. Marami pang pagdadaanan na araw,” the former San Beda standout said.