First-time All-Star Jericho Cruz looks forward to reunion with college coach Leo Austria
Jericho Cruz is an All-Star in just his second season in the PBA. PBA Images

JERICHO Cruz is now officially an All-Star, but he's keeping his feet on the ground. 

"I'll still be the same, I'll never change. I'll be in the bottom. Hindi ko naman iniisip 'yung ganun (na All-Star) na ako," said the Rain or Shine guard, a day after being named among the South reserves in the midseason showpiece in just his second year in the pro league.

But he was elated nonetheless to reunite with his college coach Leo Austria, who will call the shots for the South squad which includes starters June Mar Fajardo, NLEX slotman Asi Taulava, Star's James Yap, and Ginebra's Joe Devance and Scottie Thompson. 

Joining Cruz in the reserves ranks are Rain or Shine's JR Quinahan, San Miguel's Chris Ross, Star's RR Garcia and Mark Barroca, and Carlo Lastimosa of Blackwater. 

"I'm honored and blessed na binigyan ako ng pagkakataon to be in an All-Star team. I will enjoy the moment playing with the superstars in the league, pangarap ko rin na makasama sila sa isang team," said Cruz.

"Reunited kami ngayon ni coach. I'm happy to play with him," Cruz added of his college mentor, who he said was "the reason I was in Adamson." 

His South team will take on the North All-Stars bannered by Ginebra's Mark Caguioa and Japeth Aguilar, Star's Marc Pingris, Alaska's Calvin ABueva, and GlobalPort's Terrence Romeo. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros