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    Fri, Sep 30

    TNT coach Chot Reyes admitted the Tropang Giga were surprised to be offered Carl Bryan Cruz in a trade which allowed the reigning Philippine Cup champions to beef up during the mid-season break.

    Reyes said TNT was offered Cruz by Blackwater and the ballclub didn’t hesitate to put a deal together, knowing what the former Far Eastern University standout can bring to the Tropang GIGA.

    “We did not seek him. We weren’t expecting it. They came to us, asking if we’d like CBC and I said yes,” said Reyes.

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      The trade ended a largely uneventful two-year stint by Cruz with Blackwater, where he averaged 8.1 points and 2.7 rebounds but limited to seven games by injuries during the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup.

      By giving up Jay Washington and 2022 and 2025 second-round draft picks, TNT added Cruz to a growing midseason haul just weeks from winning the 2021 PBA Philippine Cup championship.

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      Key TNT acquisitions

      The Tropang GIGA also acquired Gab Banal through free agency after he declined a one-conference extension offered by Alaska.

      Cruz actually reunites with Reyes, who took in the bruiser during his time in charge of the Gilas Pilipinas program.

      Cruz was drafted by Alaska during the special draft to become part of the Gilas cadets, while also getting call-ups in the senior national squad.

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      Cruz also won a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 2017, with Reyes’ assistant Jong Uichico handling the squad.

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        Reyes said Cruz is definitely an asset to TNT.

        “His toughness and three-point shooting,” said Reyes when asked what the new TNT recruit can bring to the table.

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