By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Former NLEX Road Warriors swingman Jericho Cruz is now an official member of the San Miguel Beermen after signing a three-year contract effective this PBA Governor’s Cup.
The 2014 PBA Rookie Draft’s no. 9 overall pick decided to part ways with the Road Warriors after his contract expired and deciding not to sign an extension.
After stints with the Rain or Shine Elastopainters and the TNT Tropang Giga, Cruz shone the most when he landed in NLEX and became a reliable two-way player for head coach Yeng Guiao from 2019-2022.
From scoring just 6.6 points per game, Cruz elevated his performance and posted his best career stats under the Road Warriors with 13.2 points, 3.8 assists, and 2.5 rebounds per game.
Aside from signing with one of the most winningest basketball franchises in the history of the PBA, Cruz’s arrival in San Miguel will also set up a reunion with his UAAP college head coach Leo Austria.
Austria became Cruz’s first mentor in the collegiate scene when he played for the Adamson Soaring Falcons alongside Beermen’s newly-acquired big man Rodney Brondial.
Cruz will be expected to make his San Miguel debut today when they clash against the struggling Rain or Shine squad.
The Beermen will now have one of the deepest guard-forward rotations in the league with Cruz teaming up with Chris Ross, CJ Perez, Terrence Romeo, Von Pessumal, and Marcio Lassiter.