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Rookie Art dela Cruz proving worth with Elite

Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

He may be a rookie, but plugging all the holes has always been Art dela Cruz’ forte.

Just like in his senior year with San Beda, the energetic forward has gotten himself used to doing all the dirty work for Blackwater in his rookie season in the PBA.

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Averaging 11.3 points, 4.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 2.4 steals through eight games, Dela Cruz has made himself one of the standout in his rookie class this 2016 PBA Commissioner’s Cup.

And recently, he delivered anew, pouring 16 markers, 12 rebounds and three assists.

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“As a rookie, malaki at mabigat na responsibility ito na binigay ni coach, but kinukuha ko lang, grab the opportunity kasi sayang eh,” he said. “Di naman sa lahat ng players, dumarating yung opportunities na malaking bagay. I’m just playing my role as a rookie.”

His effort, however, was still not enough as the Elite fell to NLEX, 88-75 and dropped to a 3-6 record.

But Dela Cruz remains confident with Blackwater still in the running for a playoff spot.

“Sabi nga ni coach, yung playoff picture right now is blurred, pero di kami pwede maging negative,” he said.

However, he knows that there is no more room for error for the Elite.

“Every game counts na, especially yung next game,” he said. “We need to move on. We need to see ourselves in a better picture, but if we win sa Phoenix, we’ll be better and yung picture namin, magiging clear.”

“We just need to play with more energy and more as a team. Kailangan lang namin i-sustain yung energy namin from first to fourth. We’ve been there and we know we can.”

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TAGS: Art dela Cruz, Blackwater Elite, NLEX Road Warriors, San Beda Red Lions
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