ANTIPOLO CITY – It wasn’t the intention of Jericho Cruz to taunt import Jordan Williams after completing a play that paved the way for a rocking dunk by Cameron Clark.
It was too bad, game officials saw it otherwise.
What was mere fun for the San Miguel guard turned into instant nightmare as he was whistled for a technical foul for taunting late in the third period of the Beermen’s 122-102 win over Terrafirma Dyip on Friday in the PBA Governors Cup at the Ynares Center.
READ: SMB makes it three wins in a row under Gallent
It was the second T for the 32-year-old guard out of Adamson for an outright ejection.
Cruz insisted he didn’t mean to taunt or ridicule Williams after Clark turned his pass into a thunderous dunk to give San Miguel an 88-77 lead 19 seconds left in the third period.
“Na-excite lang ako kasi ang ganda ng pasa ko tapos nakapag-dunk yung import namin. Kaya nakapag-celebrate ako,” he said.
“Pero yung referee nakita niya in a bad way. Kaya nagulat ako nan a-technical ako.”
Cruz finished with nine points, four rebounds, and four assists before heading to the showers.
“Pero it is what it is. Kung yun ang nakita ng referees, okay lang,” he added. “Pero alam ko sa sarili ko na nag-celebrate lang ako sa magandang pasa na binigay ko sa import namin.”
He was called for his technical foul with six seconds remaining in the first quarter following a physical play between him and Juami Tiongson, who was likewise assessed a technical.
But Cruz downplayed this one as Tiongson happens to be a close friend.
“Nagkulitan lang kami ni Juami. Pero alam mo naman sa labas sobrang close kami niyan si Juami, pero siyempre pagdating sa loob ng court, trabaho natin yun, e,” said the San Miguel guard.
“Gusto niyang manalo, gusto kong manalo, so umabot sa punto na nagka-pisikalan ng kaunti,” he added. Pero after nung na-technical kami, nagtawanan na lang kami. Sabi ko huwag mo ng gawin yun, baka ma-thrown out tayo.
“Yun nga, ako ang na-thrown out.”
If there’s any consolation for Cruz following the incident, it was San Miguel notching its third straight win for a share of second place with idle NLEX.
“At least 3-0 na. So far, so good yung game plan nila coach (Jorge Gallent),” he said.