After missing basketball for over a year – no thanks to an Achilles injury he sustained during a Gilas Pilipinas practice back in March 2017 – second-generation cager Art Dela Cruz is slowly regaining his form.
The 6-foot-4 forward played his second game in three outings for the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel on Sunday night, when the reigning two-time Governors’ Cup champs took on rivals TNT KaTropa at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Dela Cruz was even fielded in as a starter. He played for over 13 minutes and had three points, four boards, and three dimes as Ginebra blasted TNT, 113-92, to head into the season-ending tilt’s quarterfinals as the top seed.
“Nanibago ako, para akong naging rookie,” said the 26-year-old.
Though he felt a bit different, Dela Cruz – one of San Beda’s all-time greats – made it known that he couldn’t be more satisfied with the support given to him by Ginebra head coach Tim Cone and the whole Barangay on his journey.
“Masaya, masaya ‘saka overwhelming. Grabe yung suportang binibigay, ‘saka ni coach Tim, binibigay sa’min, confidence ‘saka trust kasi tagal nang hinintay niya sa’kin,” said a grateful Dela Cruz. “Actually, hindi pa niya ‘ko pinipilit.
“Sinasabi pa niya sa’kin every practice ‘wag mo masyadong pahirapan yung sarili mo and pang next season lang talaga yung hinahabol niya sa’kin. Kung ano man mabigay ko this conference, it’s a bonus for him, for the team.”
Asked how has he been since that unfortunate injury, the ninth overall pick by the Blackwater Elite in the 2015 Draft said that he’s “getting there.”
“Mga eighty-percent,” Dela Cruz said. “Kailangan pa ng hangin eh. Kailangan pang perfekin yung play, yung system pero getting there na rin, tsaka yung mga teammates ko, para malaman nila kung ano yung laro ko.”
“Medyo matagal akong nawala eh kaya ‘di na nila alam paano yung laro ko.”
Jio Jalalon on knocking down Game 4-saving FTs: ‘Pag hindi na-shoot yun, yari ako’
James Yap has no regrets with missed potential game-tying trey
Billy Robles, Davao Occidental silence San Juan, send series to winner-take-all
Magnolia Hotshots survive James Yap’s hijack attempt, tie series with Rain or Shine
Taane Samuel leaves La Salle, signs with NZ club
Des Cheng has opposing crowds right where she wants them
DLSU Lady Spikers look to scrap for wins the rest of the way, says Ramil De Jesus
Unsure of return for next season, Kat Tolentino making most of breakout year
Ed Daquioag stars this time as Rain or Shine blasts Magnolia for 2-0 lead
UST Golden Tigresses stay in range of twice-to-beat advantage, dump FEU
NU Lady Bulldogs end UP’s Final Four hopes
Peter Quiel zaps UP as FEU Tamaraws inch closer to twice-to-beat
- News13 hours ago
Jaja Santiago bares hectic 2019 plans
- 3x3 Basketball4 days ago
Taylor Statham wills Pasig Chooks to massive upset of Liman, Pool A sweep
- 3x3 Basketball2 days ago
Philippines continues rise in FIBA 3X3 rankings as Pasig, Taylor Statham move up as well
- Mixed Martial Arts4 days ago
Kevin Belingon continues to stand firm vs Bibi: ‘I think nag-dradrama lang siya’