JERICHO Cruz is glad to be working on the court again with someone who had supported him during his period of career uncertainty.
JR Quinahan was Cruz’s teammate in the the Rain or Shine squad that won the 2016 Commissioner's Cup and remained close friends after being moved to different teams. Quinahan and Cruz were teammates from 2014 to 2016 and remained friends after the former was shipped to GlobalPort in 2016 and the latter was moved to TNT in 2018.
Now they work together again for NLEX, after Cruz was finally shipped by TNT via a trade that also involved Northport.
“Nung narinig na nasa trading block ako, halos every week magkakasama kami,” said the 28-year-old Cruz. “Sobrang close talaga kami niyan.”
It was no surprise that the 35-year-old Quinahan was the first person Cruz called when the trade was completed.
“Ako agad tinawagan niya,” said Quinahan. “Masaya rin ako para sa kanya. Down kasi ‘yan. Sabi ko, maghintay ka lang, makakahanap ka rin ng team.”
“Lagi kami magkasama, minsan out of town, kasama family namin. Kahit mga ibang ROS boys, may group chat kami. Hindi na bago sa amin magkita. Kakasawa na nga eh,” said Quinahan in jest.
A player for the NLEX since 2017, Quinahan said Cruz will definitely be a big boost for the Road Warriors with his ability on offense and defense.
“Malaking tulong, malaking bagay si Jericho kasi alam naman niya sistema ni coach Yeng. Matagal na kami magkasama, nakapagchampion na kami. Wala masyadong adjustments, siguro sa adjustment na lang sa bagong teammates. Kay coach Yeng, hindi naman,” said Quinahan.
“Experience niya at nakakacreate siya sa loob, makulit sa depensa, matapang,” said Quinahan.
Cruz is determined not to let Quinahan down as the Road Warriors look to salvage their conference after going 0-5 heading into their match-up against Magnolia.
“Siguro ‘yung eagerness to play and win again, being a two-way player. Siguro ‘yun ang madadala ko lang,” said Cruz. “Hindi ko naman kaya mag-isa ito. We have to help each other out. Dapat tulong tulong. Maraming butas sa team namin. Wala si Kiefer, wala si Kevin so I’m just hoping na ma-carry ito sa third conference na kumpleto na kami lahat.”