Jericho Cruz forces Magnolia to pay for a risky defensive play in the column

Feb 23, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines –  With four games remaining in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup The championship match, Jericho Cruz’s series was performing mediocrely.

After receiving five technical fouls throughout the conference, he was automatically suspended and missed Game Three. He performed admirably in the three other competitions in which he was suited up.

With a meager 4-of-14 performance from 3-point range (28.5%) and an 11-of-29 field goal percentage (37.9 percent) combined, they only managed 29 points.

Jericho Cruz’s increased drive from Guiao’s appearance in Game 5

However, the Fil-Guamanian came to life as the walls of Jericho collapsed heavily on an unwary Magnolia in Wednesday night’s Game Five, which left the best-of-seven series deadlocked at 2 to 2.

Jericho Cruz became Jericho Curry in the process. To finish with thirty points, he sank eight of his fourteen attempts from beyond the arc and made 11 of his 22 overall.

With a brilliant outburst, San Miguel defeated Magnolia 108 to 98 and went on to win title No. 29, the most in PBA history.

Shortly after Game 5, Jericho texted me, “All of the responsibility goes to myself and my colleagues. I was merely attempting to be confident when making my illustrations this morning. Special thanks to the team instructors as well as coach Jorge (Gallent) for providing me with the opportunity.”


I was curious as to why Cruz appeared to be as accessible in the majority of his pictures as a 24-hour drugstore.

“They were offering us perimeter shots. They continued to stay home without (import) Bennie (Boatwright), repeatedly as well as triple-teaming him. I recognized that I had to hit those shots in order to allow them to make things easier on him a bit. I’m just pleased with myself that my fellow teammates found me,” Jericho said.

Boatwright finished with six boards and 21 points. Despite suffering from a sore calf injury, June Mar Fajardo was unstoppable, finishing with 18 points and 15 rebounds, while Simon Enciso scorched the court with five three-pointers.

Cruz ultimately delivered the final blow to Magnolia’s aspirations for a repeat victory in Game Five, dribbling a three-pointer with 53 seconds remaining to give San Miguel a 102 to 96 lead.

Meanwhile: Boatwright is prepared for a more challenging final game versus Magnolia.

When San Miguel takes on Magnolia in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup finals on Wednesday, BENNIE Boatwright anticipates an even more difficult contest for the team.

Boatwright understands that the Beermen need to be prepared for what their opponents have in store on Valentine’s Day at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, especially after overcoming a major endgame scare from the Hotshots in a 108-98 victory in Game 5.

With San Miguel leading the series 3 to 2, he stated, “We expect it to be a tough game” in regard to Game 6. “We’ll drive out there and be equipped.”

With 74 seconds left, Magnolia threatened to tie the game at 99 to 96, but San Miguel stopped them thanks to the scorching skills of Jericho Cruz. Magnolia had rallied from a 14-point disadvantage in the last six minutes.

The Beermen responded with a convincing 9 to 2 run in the waning minutes of play to secure the victory. Cruz made the final two of his eight three-pointers, while Boatwright made two big free throws.

After scoring just 16 points in the fourth game of San Miguel’s 96-85 loss, Boatwright rallied and ended the game with a total of 21 points, six rebounds, as well as four assists in the game.

As San Miguel looks to capture its 29th franchise title overall, he is now one win away from his first PBA championship.

In order to help the Beermen make history, Boatwright anticipates a large turnout of San Miguel supporters.

“We love every one of the fans, because we gave ourselves a lot of enthusiasm out there. I obviously feel loved by these individuals (when) performing. It’s wonderful going to the stadium and performing,” said RG, the import.

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