Struggling Jericho Cruz stays patient as he continues to play through plantar fasciitis injury
RoS guard Jericho Cruz admits he's still far from 100 percent. Jerome Ascano

JERICHO Cruz is still favoring the injury on his right foot which has been the main reason for his slow start in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

For the second straight game, the third-year wingman struggled on the floor as he finished with only two points on a 1-of-9 shooting in Rain or Shine’s 99-95 win over Mahindra on Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The 26-year-old Cruz admitted afterwards he is still bothered by the tear on his plantar fasciitis he incurred during the Elasto Painters’ tune-up game against – ironically – Mahindra prior to the conference opener.

“May konting tear pero playable naman sitya,” said last year’s Most Improved Player while carrying on his shoulder daughter Pristine Althea. “Inaalalayan ko pa yung injury ko.

“Hindi ko magawa yung mga galaw na dati kong ginagawa. Parang may pumipigil sa akin.”

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While the injury is already healing, Cruz continues to undergo rehab to strengthen his injured foot. He added surgery is not an option at the moment.

There remains some pai, but Cruz said he’s trying to play through it.

In the Elasto Painters’ opening game against former coach Yeng Guiao and NLEX, Cruz contributed six points, five rebounds, and three assists in a 113-105 win.

But he logged 23 minutes of play in both games, proof how confident coach Caloy Garcia is on his ability to help the team.

“Props to coach Caloy because he’s still giving me the chance to play, giving me the minutes,” he said of his coach, who turned 42 on Sunday. “Just so thankful doon sa thrust ni coach Caloy. He’s giving me the green light inside.”

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Cruz is trying to stay patient and knows he’ll eventually regain his old form a few more games into the mid-season tournament.

And good thing too, the defending champion Elasto Painters continue to win despite his struggle.

“I’m just hoping na mag-heal na ito ng makalaro na ako ng maayos,” he said. “Kahit pangit ang laro ko, as long as nananalo ang team ko, yun ang importante.”

Follow the writer on Twitter: @gerardmos