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Letran’s Mark Cruz shoots the lights out, takes three point shootout crown

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The student-athlete dubbed as the “Antman” for his cold-blooded clutch plays despite his short frame took the three-point shooting crown in this year’s NCAA All-Star festivities early Friday afternoon at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan City.

In the first round, Mark Cruz was lights out in putting up 26 points. In those 26 points, he just missed one shot from his chosen money ball rack and missed just two of ten shots in the final two racks.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Letran’s Mark Cruz shoots the lights out, takes three point shootout crown    Co-finalist Wilson Baltazar from Lyceum compiled a score of 22 points to advance. Baltazar, who is one of the top three point gunners in the league, shook off a slow start and was able to convert on all five moneyballs in the third rack.

Eliminated in the first round were AC Soberano of San Beda (17 points), Ryan Costelo of San Sebastian (11 points), Gerald Dizon of Perpetual (15 points), Paolo Pontejos of JRU (17 points), Exeqiel Biteng of Mapua (17 points), John Kenneth Zamora of Arellano (18 points), and Jozhua General of Emilio Aguinaldo (14 points). Defending three-point shootout champion Travis Jonson of Saint Benilde was also eliminated after the first round as he only scored 18 points. Three points were shed from his final tally as three shots were deemed stepping over the three-point line.

In the final round, Baltazar went cold as he was only able to put up nine points. Baltazar missed six shots in the first two racks while only scoring on one money ball in the third rack. The cold spell continued into the final two racks as he only converted on two baskets.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Letran’s Mark Cruz shoots the lights out, takes three point shootout crown
“The Antman” knew he had this in the bag as he took the floor. Cruz had already tallied eight points going into the third rack and was able to tie after he knocked down the first ball in the third rack. Cruz won the title in his third shot in the third rack. The Letran captain was able to tally a total of 18 points to end the competition.

“Ayoko isipin ang competition na ito,” Cruz said when asked about what his mindset was going into the shootout. “Baka kasi maiba tira ko pag inisip ko ‘yun, kabahan pa ko,” he quipped.

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