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Thirdy’s special friend Andie Cruz, 23, passes away



Tiebreaker Times Thirdy's special friend Andie Cruz, 23, passes away Basketball News  Thirdy Ravena San-en NeoPhoenix 2020-21 B.League Season

Thirdy Ravena lost a very dear friend on Wednesday morning.

Andie Cruz (July 1, 1997 – August 26, 2020) passed away peacefully.

He was just 23 years young.

Cruz, who has Down syndrome, has been a fixture in all of Ateneo’s game over the last three years.

There, he became close to the Blue Eagles, including Ravena.

“You’ve been such a great inspiration to me and a lot of people these past few years and bringing you joy has always been a mission of mine. I wish I got to spend more time with you and I hope that in the very short time we’ve known each other, I was able to make you happy,” read Ravena’s tribute to Cruz.

Just how special of a friend Cruz is to Ravena?

Well, during the coronation of Ateneo in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Basketball Finals, Ravena made sure to look for his friend to give him his gold medal.

“He watches our games. He is a very special person in my life. Binigay ko sa kanya ‘yun dahil he is very dear to me. He always wanted that,” shared the UAAP’s only three-time Finals Most Valuable Player.

“He is one of the reasons why I work hard, to make people like him happy.”

Ateneo head coach Tab Baldwin also felt devastated upon learning the news, as Cruz was a source of inspiration for the team during their three-peat drive.

“Andie was always there for our team with a clap and a smile. Andie will remain now in our hearts as a young man who battled the challenges that life threw at him always with a warrior’s heart and a smile on his face,” expressed the American-Kiwi tactician.

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Ravena is now bound for Japan in a few months.

And just like in Ateneo, he vows to keep playing for Cruz.

“You’re in a better place with Papa Jesus now, so please watch over Tita Marice and everyone you love. I will miss your post-game hugs, and I definitely give you the biggest one when I see you again. Til then, may you rest in peace. I love you so much, Andie.”

One big fight for Andie, always.

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