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Dela Cruz begins process of moving on

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As Art Dela Cruz’s biggest fear — losing — bit him at the conclusion of the NCAA Season 91 championship, the San Beda Red Lions forward has no recourse but to accept the reality and begin his transition from the amateur to pro ranks.

The fifth-year combo forward averaged 11.33 points on a 60% shooting clip, eight boards, and five dimes in 30 minutes of action in the Finals. Moreover, he almost notched a triple-double in his final collegiate game of his career in tallying a statline of 15 points, 13 boards, and five dimes. However, the Red Lions succumbed to the Letran pressure to end their five-year reign.

“Credit to Letran. Pinahirapan talaga nila kami. Mas gusto nila. For me, meaningless. It’s hard to move on but kailangan magmove on,” a teary-eyed Dela Cruz said Thursday, moments after Letran dethroned the once five-time defending champion San beda.

“Face another chapter in your life and kailangan tanggapin mo na aalis ka na ng collegiate.”

Dela Cruz could have scripted a better ending to his already glorious collegiate basketball career, although the Red Lions fell just short in the end.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Dela Cruz begins process of moving on    Still, Dela Cruz is grateful for the experience the school has given him in the last five seasons and admitted that he does not regret transferring from Ateneo to Mendiola.

“Salamat na lang sa limang taon ko (rito) and apat na taong champion. Hindi ako nagsisisi na pumunta akong San Beda. Sobrang ganda ng journey ko and it’s just that lahat ng buhay natin, may ending yan,” Dela Cruz said.

Now moving forward to being part of the Blackwater Elite, Dela Cruz is working double-time to remained focused on the next chapter of his basketball career.

He knows it will not be easy, and he is keen on working hard to create a name.

“Kailangan ko na magfocus sa next level. Dito, I will have to earn my spot. Hindi na ito papasok ko diyan, lalaro ka. Hindi katulad sa collegiate na you already have a name,” he said.

No matter how difficult it is, Dela Cruz is trying his best not to think of the past as a new page will unfold.

“Dito, dahan-dahan mong i-earn yung playing time mo. Kailangan mo i-revert yung (thinking) mo kasi professional na. You can’t dwell on the past and dapat ipaglaban mo sarili mo.”

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