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July 2, 1977 |
|Listed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Listed weight||170 lb (77 kg)|
|High school||St. Anne's Catholic High School - Bulacan|
|College||Far Eastern University (1995-2001)|
|PBA draft||2002 Round: 1 / Pick: 19th overall|
|Selected by the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals|
|2004-2005||Shell Turbo Chargers|
|2005-2008||Red Bull Barako|
|2008-2009||Burger King Whoopers|
|2009||Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants|
|2009-2010||Barangay Ginebra Kings|
Celino Carlos Bernardo Cruz (born July 22, 1977 in Manila, Philippines) is a former professional basketball player in the Philippine Basketball Association. This former FEU Tamaraw stalwart is a deadly left-handed shooter. He is best known for his clutch plays. He was drafted by the Talk 'N Text Phone Pals nineteenth overall in 2002. He started his career as a rookie with the defunct Shell Turbo Chargers in 2004-05. He also played for the Red Bull Barako before being traded to the Burger King Whoopers and then the Purefoods Tender Juicy Giants.
As a freshman, the 1999–2000 season, Cruz was already a starter on a relatively unheralded team. The FEU Tamaraws came into the season and predicted to finish not higher than sixth. But, the Tamaraws won an unexpected UAAP Championship.
Cruz' sophomore season was his breakout year. He led the Tammaraws to their second consecutive UAAP Championship where he was named the Most Outstanding Player of the tournament.
The 2001–2002 season saw Cruz establish himself as one of the top amateur players in the nation. He was the leader of the team and was considered a "coach on the floor." He also received Player of the Year and the Silver Basketball award, and was named to the Mythical Second Team. Cruz then decided to leave college early after his junior year to play in the PBA.
Barangay Ginebra traded Paul Artadi, Rafi Reavis, and the rights to 2009 8th pick overall Chris Timberlake for Enrico Villanueva, Rich Alvarez, Celino Cruz, and Paolo Bugia of Purefoods. Burger King acted as the conduit team, trading Pocholo Villanueva to Ginebra and acquiring the rights to 2009 Rookie draft eighteenth pick Orlando Daroya and future picks.
At the end of the 2009-10 PBA season, he was released by the Barangay Ginebra Kings. Days after, he was signed by the Powerade Tigers as a free agent. He played a key role on his first year as its starting poing guard. Together with Gary David, they became a one-two punch for their offense.
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