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Ayo wants Cruz to finish college degree



Prior to the NCAA Finals, Kevin Racal told Mark Cruz that they have to win the NCAA Seniors Basketball crown since this will be their final shot at the championship.

“Sabi ko kay Mark [Cruz], last year na naming dalawa. Kelangan namin makuha na ito,” Racal disclosed about their conversation.

After a thrilling series against rivals San Beda College, Mark Cruz and Kevin Racal ended their NCAA journey as champions. Moreover, Cruz posted norms of 17.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 3.0 steals to cop the NCAA Season 91 Finals MVP trophy.

NCAA Champion, NCAA Finals MVP, and Star Hotshot. It has been a great year for Mark Cruz. But for Letran head coach Aldin Ayo, there is still one title missing for his floor general, college graduate.

Ayo, who himself holds a Philosophy degree with the 395 year-old institution, has always prided that Racal is graduating with a Business Management degree. In addition, the 37 year old head coach has always prided that coaches are teachers as well at the end of the day.

Sitting beside each other during the post-game of Letran’s championship-clinching game, Ayo looked at Cruz and said, “I want Mark na tapusin yung academics niya. That’s it,” he told the 5’6 guard. “Sa amin si K-Racs is graduating. Mas importante kasi sa amin ang academics. So he has to go back and tapusin yung studies niya.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ayo wants Cruz to finish college degree
Cruz at first gushed when asked about how many units he has remaining before finishing his studies. “Marami-rami pa e pero gagawan ko talaga ng paraan para makatapos,” he said.

He then told Tiebreaker Times how he had a tough time balancing being a student and an athlete at the same time. “Kasi nung start pa lang ng pre-season may mga conflicts na kami with the schedule ng practices and tune-up games. Pero si coach lagi niya ineemphasize yung academics,” he disclosed. “Minsan nga hindi kami nakaka-practice para mag-attend ng classes. Lagi niya kami nireremind na hindi pang habang-buhay ang basketball.”

Cruz though vowed to finish his tertiary studies even if he suits for the Star Hotshots. “Gagawan ko talaga ng paraan para matapos yung studies ko kahit nasa PBA na ako,” he promised.

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