TIM Cone still paints a gloomy picture as to the availability of injured big man Jervy Cruz for the rest of the PBA Philippine Cup Finals between Barangay Ginebra and San Miguel.
Given the chance though, the sweet-shooting forward would love to suit up for Game Four on Friday night and extend whatever help he can to his embattled ballclub.
After sitting out Wednesday night’s game won by the Beermen, 99-88, the 30-year-old Cruz said his hurting left shoulder is already feeling fine and believes he’s good enough to see action for the Kings again.
“Okay naman na, may improvement na nga. Medyo may pain lang ng konti,” said the former University of Santo Tomas star.
‘Next game sana makalaro na nga,” added Cruz, who already joined the Kings in their practice on Thursday.
Cruz averaged 8.0 points (8 of 16) and 3.0 rebounds in 18 minutes of play in the first two games of the best-of-seven series, which the two-time defending champion Beermen lead, 2-1.
But his minutes were limited in the Kings’ 124-118 overtime win in Game Two held in Lucena due to the injury he sustained on his shoulder.
“Pag box-out ko kay June Mar (Fajardo), nagkabanggaan kami,” he said of the incident.
Cruz sat out Game Three of the title series and watched as the Kings were outscored by the Beermen down the stretch, 12-0, to lose a tightly-fought ballgame.
Cone admitted the Kings did miss the services of Cruz, especially with another Ginebra big man in Joe Devance playing hurt for the entire playoffs.
“Obviously, we lacked an extra big guy out there. We need some big bodies out there,” said the Ginebra coach. “Jervy would have really helped.”
Cone stressed Cruz is still listed as day-to-day, but isn't too optimistic about him returning to active duty by Friday, or even beyond.
“I’d say he’s doubtful for Friday, and maybe more possible on Sunday. But we’ll see,” said Cone.
For Cruz, he’s more than willing to suit up given even just the slightest signal to play.
“Okay naman na yung pakiramdam ko, kaya sana nga makalaro na ako,” he said.