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    Jericho Cruz looking to finally win title with college coach Austria

    Aug 18, 2022
    Leo Austria, Simon Enciso, Jericho Cruz, Marcio Lassiter
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    WHAT they failed to achieve together at Adamson, Jericho Cruz hopes he and coach Leo Austria can finally get done in the PBA.

    Player and coach earned a shot at a championship after San Miguel Beer advanced to the finals of the PBA Philippine Cup following a dominant 100-89 win over Meralco in the do-or-die Game 7 on Wednesday night.

    See: Jericho Cruz quick to atone for horror Game 4 for San Miguel

    Cruz and Austria were together at Adamson a decade back, but never really came close to winning the UAAP men’s basketball championship.

    Now they’re within reach of achieving the feat as the Beermen returned to the finals of a conference they dominated in the pre-pandemic days.

    Cruz said it would be something memorable if ever the Beermen pull this one off behind his former college coach.

    “I’m excited to win a championship with coach Leo. It would be a good moment for me and him since we didn’t win anything for Adamson,” said Cruz, who finished with 12 points and five assists in the series clincher against Meralco.

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    “Hopefully, we can get one this time.”

    Another former Adamson teammate, Rodney Brondial, is actually eyeing to accomplish the same feat with Cruz and Austria at San Miguel.

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    But Cruz isn’t about to get ahead of the story.

    The 31-year-old guard knows San Miguel will have to go through the eye of a needle against a talented TNT team if it is to regain the league’s crown jewel which the franchise last won in 2019.

    “We all know it’s going to be very hard against TNT,” he said. “But andiyan yung mga coaching staff namin, and kaming mga players ready lang naman.”

    Game 1 of the San Miguel-TNT best-of-seven title series will be played on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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