Letran’s Mark Cruz is one of the smallest players in the NCAA today. But despite his pint size, he has the ability to take and make big shots.
On Friday, the 5-6 Cruz’s ability in the clutch was in full display as he exploded for 12 points in the fourth quarter to rally Letran to a come-from-behind 87-81 victory over Arellano University that keep them in front of the hotly contested Final Four race in the 91st NCAA season.
Cruz, who was selected in the third round by Star Hotshots in last month’s PBA rookie draft, finished with 20 points including four booming triples and eight free throws out of 10 attempts while spiking his scoring effort with four rebounds and the same number of assists.
Thanks to Cruz, the Knights are now atop the heap with the San Beda Lions on identical 12-4 (win-loss) record and were assured of at least a playoff for a Final Four berth.
Cruz’s heroics also clinched him the ACCEL Quantum/3XVI-NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week award, besting youthful teammate Rey Nambatac, Jose Rizal’s John Pontejos and San Beda’s Arthur dela Cruz.