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    PHOTO: Jericho Cruz's Twitter Page

    IT was more than a decade in the making, but for Jericho Cruz it’s not yet too late to savor a championship with his college coach Leo Austria.

    Player and mentor finally won a title together after San Miguel Beer put away the championship of the PBA Philippine Cup by beating TNT in a riveting Game Seven showdown.

    When everything was over, Cruz said he had a small moment with Austria at the San Miguel dugout as they looked back on their journey together that began back during their days at Adamson.

    READ: Austria deflects credit to players: 'Nag-mukha na naman akong magaling'

    The 31-year-old guard played two years under Austria while with the San Marcelino-based school, but never came close to contending for a UAAP championship.

    “Nag-usap nga kami sa loob (ng dugout), medyo kaunting teary-eyed,” said Cruz, who finished with only four points in the deciding Game 7 win, 119-97, as he alternated in trying to slow down deadly TNT gunner Mikey Williams.

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    “Kaya sabi ko Game 7 ito, kahit gamitin niya ako o hindi, I’ll give my best to help my team.”

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      This is Cruz’s second championship in the league after winning one during the 2016 Commissioner’s Cup while still with wedding godfather Yeng Guiao and Rain or Shine.

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      But this is just as special.

      “Pinaka-best moment ko ito (with coach Leo) kasi siya yung kumuha sa akin,” said Cruz, who was seen by Austria playing in Bacolod while still with Rizal Technological University and eventually, recruited him to play for the Falcons.

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      SEE ALSO

      “So nakilala ako sa college through him, so yun ang na-appreciate ko talaga kay coach Leo.”

      San Miguel big man Rodney Brondial, a former Adamson teammate of Cruz, also won his first PBA championship under his ex-college coach.

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      PHOTO: Jericho Cruz's Twitter Page
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