JERICHO Cruz remains an Adamson Falcon until he officially files his application for the PBA rookie draft.
Adamson coach Kenneth Duremdes said that as far as he is concerned, Cruz is still with the Falcons despite reports that the one-time Sinag Pilipinas member is considering joining the next rookie draft.
Cruz's draft plans may pose a problem for the Falcons since active UAAP players are barred from turning pro during the season. This year's deadline for the submission of application for the PBA draft is August 24, which is in the middle of the college basketball season.
“May mga ganun ngang bali-balita (na sasama si Cruz sa rookie draft) pero hangga’t wala pa ‘yung pangalan niya sa draft, maglalaro pa rin siya sa Adamson,” Duremdes, who is entering his first season as Falcons coach, said.
The one-time PBA MVP said Cruz is very much a part of the team at this point. He said Cruz has been regularly attending the college team's practices.
Cruz’s stock rose after he became part of the gold medal-winning Philippine team in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games while playing for Blackwater Sports in the PBA D-League.
Cruz was even eyed by Blackwater Sports as a prospective recruit for its debut season in the PBA until the league board denied the company's request for direct-hire privileges.
Cruz said he is still undecided on whether to turn pro or stay with Adamson for his final year of eligibility.
“Whatever good opportunities come first, I will take it,” Cruz said.
Duremdes admitted that it will be tough for the Falcons to return to the Final Four this season after the graduation of Rodney Brondial and Cameroonian center Ingrid Sewa's departure.
“We have a lot of players who are graduated that are also big men. We will have a very young team this year,” said the PBA legend.