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Jericho Cruz gets Guam call-up for Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers

Jericho Cruz gets Guam call-up for Fiba Asia Cup qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines — Jericho Cruz has yet to represent the Philippines on the Fiba stage, but he gets his chance to possibly fulfill that dream playing for Guam.

Cruz, who was born in Philippines but spent his childhood in Saipan, was among Guam’s 24-man pool for the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup Qualifiers to be held next month.

“Of course it’s a blessing. Every player would want to play internationally,” Cruz, who plays for the NLEX Road Warriors in the PBA, told Lyn Olavario of ESPN5 on Wednesday.

“One of my dreams talaga [really] is to play for the Philippines but luck isn’t in my side here.”

The 29-year-old Cruz, who represented Saipan in the 2008 Fiba Oceania Youth Tournament, was part of the Philippine team that won the gold in the 2013 Southeast Asian Games in Naypyidaw, Myanmar.

Cruz, though, remains eligible to suit up for Guam with the SEA Games not a Fiba-sanctioned tournament.

The 6-foot-1 guard isn’t the only part Filipino in the pool with University of the East’s Chris Conner and Adamson’s Will Stinnett also included.

Guam booked a slot in the Asia Cup qualification after it swept the Eastern Region Pre-Qualifiers.