Jericho Cruz was a marked man on Sunday afternoon.
In its debut in the Asia Cup, Guam was overwhelmed by powerhouse squad New Zealand, bowing 94-113 in Group C action at the Calvo Fieldhouse.
Cruz, a Filipino-Northern Mariana Islander, was making his debut in the continental scene. The NLEX Road Warrior was limited by the suffocating Kiwi defense, though. He finished with just four points on 2-of-8 shooting alongside five assists, four rebounds, and four turnovers.
Powered by its home crowd, Guam kept pace with New Zealand — who defeated Australia 108-98 last Thursday — even leading 24-22 to end the opening frame.
However, New Zealand stormed with a 34-point second frame to leave Guam in the dust.
New Zealand would lead by as much as 28 points, 102-74, with 5:49 left in the game.
Former Adamson Soaring Falcon Will Stinnett had 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists for Guam.
New Zealand had six players score in double-digits with Shea Ili leading the way with 25 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and four steals. Reuben Te Rangi added 17 markers built on five triples.
Up next for New Zealand is a home game against Hong Kong on November 27.
Guam, who fell to 0-1, will take on another loaded squad in Australia on the same day. And the squad hopes that Cruz will be allowed to suit up for them once more.