ANTIPOLO CITY – Jericho Cruz took it upon himself to have his return game in the PBA Philippine Cup come earlier than expected.
Cruz was poised to be activated on March 9 yet, but suited up a week ahead of time and already saw action in TnT Katropa’s game against Rain or Shine Sunday night at the Ynares Center.
And boy, was he ready indeed.
The Adamson wingman hardly showed the effect of a strained hamstring that sidelined him for a month as he scored 10 points in the Katropa’s 100-92 win over the erstwhile league leaders.
Cruz went 5-of-8 from the field and added a rebound and two assists in tormenting his former ballclub.
He later disclosed he’s timetable is really set next week yet.
“Pinilit ko lang talaga yung PT (Physical Therapist) namin (Dexter Aseron) na sabihin sa coach namin na palaruin na ako. Kasi sabi sa akin ni coach dati he is playing me in the playoffs na,” recalled Cruz.
“Pero sabi ko sa sarili ko pag naglaro ako sa playoffs, siyempre mawawala yung rhythm ko, yung kumpiyansa ko,” said Cruz, who added he had to work out twice a day to quickly get back in shape.
Initially, the coaching staff planned to just play him for 10 minutes, which later doubled on since Team Pilipinas stalwart Roger Pogoy didn’t see action as he was still recovering from the bout with a flu.
“Buti nga maganda yung naipakita ko, kaya yun tuluy-tuloy naman,” he said.
So far, so good Cruz said he’s been recovering well from his injury and help TnT Katropa clinch a berth in the playoffs.
“I try to stay healthy kung ano yung binigay sa akin ni coach na role gagawin ko lang,” he said.