By Ernest Hernandez
Mark “Ant-man” Cruz vows to maximize all his opportunities by performing better with Blackwater Elite for the upcoming 2017 PBA Governors Cup. Cruz holds averages of 6.8 points, 3 assists and a steal in 23 minutes per game.
“Sarap sa feeling,” said the former Letran Knight after showing what he can do in the PBA during the Commissioners Cup.
“Mas nailalabas ko ang laro ko at mga kaya kong pakita at maitulong sa team. Syempre pasalamat ako kay Coach Leo (Isaac) at sa management na magawa ko ang kaya kong magawa.”
Drafted by the Star Hotshots, Cruz was sent to the PBA D-League to further sharpen his skills in the pro league. The demotion served as a blessing in disguise. “Ant-Man” learned what it takes to make it to the PBA and stay in the league as well.
“Kailangan mag-work harder pa ako. Hindi ako kailangan makuntento kung ano meron ako,” said Cruz. “Kailangan everyday mag-extra shooting, extra workout, lahat kailangan talaga dahil ang kompetisyon sa PBA sobrang hard.”
Every year, the PBA drafts more than 40 rookies that will jockey to stay in one of the 12 ball clubs. According to Cruz, settling in the comfort zone is a big no-no if you want to have a long career.
“Maraming dumadating na bago kaya kailangan maging consistent ka,” an advice that Cruz picked up with some Star Hotshots veteran during his rookie year. “Yun ang mga natutunan ko sa mga beterano kong kasama na sina James Yap at PJ Simon.”
Getting his feet wet, Ant-man now feels that their team will be performing better with high-flying import Trevis Simpson.
“Mas aangat ko ang ma-kontribute ko sa team and hopefully mga end games na pwede ma-ipanalo as a team. I feel na mas maganda run naming ng Blackwater this conference.”
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