Guam’s Men’s National Basketball Team unveiled their 24-man pool for the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers. And there was a glaring name on the roster.
Jericho Cruz, who is half Filipino and half Northern Mariana Islander, was part of the pool.
The 6-foot-1 guard, who played for CNMI’s national team back in the 2008 FIBA Oceania Youth Tournament, felt honored about his selection.
“Of course, it’s a blessing,” Cruz told Lyn Olavario of ESPN5.
“Every player would want to play internationally.”
Back in 2013, Cruz — who was fresh off playing for Adamson — was part of the Philippine team that won gold in the Southeast Asian Games. But the SEA Games is not a FIBA-sanctioned tournament, making him eligible to still play for Guam.
Cruz almost made it to the 2018 Asian Games lineup of Gilas, but a right finger injury forced his withdrawal.
The six-year PBA pro is looking to clear things up with Guam head coach EJ Calvo regarding his training with the squad.
“So far the conversations are doing good, but they need to consider a lot of things before they can finally decide,” said Cruz, who is a player for PBA club NLEX.
“Whatever decision that will be, I will respect that.”
Also part of the pool is University of the East guard Chris Conner and Cruz’s fellow Adamsonian Will Stinnett
Guam qualified for the continental meet after sweeping the Eastern Region Pre-Qualifiers, 5-0.
Guam is slotted in Group C, together with Australia, Hong Kong, and New Zealand.