Mark Cruz

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Mark Cruz
No. 9 – Pampanga Giant Lanterns
PositionPoint guard
LeagueMPBL
Personal information
Born (1992-07-27) July 27, 1992 (age 27)
Quezon City, Philippines
NationalityFilipino
Listed height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)
Listed weight150 lb (68 kg)
Career information
High schoolColegio de San Juan de Letran
CollegeColegio de San Juan de Letran
PBA draft2015 Round: 3 / Pick: 30th overall
Selected by the Star Hotshots
Career history
2015–2016Star Hotshots
2016Phoenix Fuel Masters
2017–2018Blackwater Elite
2019–presentPampanga Giant Lanterns
Career highlights and awards

Mark Lu Cruz (born July 27, 1992) is a Filipino professional basketball player for the Pampanga Giant Lanterns of the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL). He is the smallest active player in the league today, earning the moniker Ant Man.[1]

College career[edit]

Cruz studied at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran and played for the Letran Knights varsity squad. Teaming up with Kevin Alas and Raymond Almazan, and later Kevin Racal and Rey Nambatac, he propelled the Knights to the finals in 2012 and 2013, only to lose to the San Beda Red Lions on both occasions.[2][3][4] After missing the Final Four the year before, he flourished under new coach Aldin Ayo, leading the Knights in his final collegiate year.[5] In 2015, he led the Knights to an NCAA Championship against their nemesis San Beda, ending a 10-year title drought. He was awarded the Finals MVP.[6]

Professional career[edit]

Cruz was drafted 30th overall in the 2015 Rookie Draft by the Star Hotshots.[7] Unlike his fellow rookies, he signed a one-conference contract with the Hotshots. In his PBA debut he tallied 7 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in a loss to the San Miguel Beermen[8] On May 2016, Cruz was traded by Star to Phoenix Fuel Masters in a three-team trade that also involved GlobalPort Batang Pier.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Cruz is the younger brother of former UP Fighting Maroons star and PBA player Marvin Cruz.[10] His favorite player growing up was Jimmy Alapag. He took up a degree in Operations Management and hopes to start a business someday.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Naredo, Camille (July 23, 2015). "'Ant-Man' Cruz thrilled to inspire undersized players". ABS-CBNnews.com. Retrieved October 30, 2015.
  2. ^ Riego, Norman Lee Benjamin. "Letran bests San Beda for first title since 2005". ABS-CBN Sports. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  3. ^ Domingo, Mia Rengie Angela Domingo. "Small but terrible Mark Cruz stands tall, brings home the 'suka' for the Letran Knights". InterAKTV. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  4. ^ "NCAA Season 89 Finals Game 3: San Beda vs Letran". Philstar.com. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  5. ^ Bracher, Jane. "Mark Cruz ready to lead Letran Knights in his final year". Rappler. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  6. ^ Leongson, Randolph. "Smallest man stands tallest as Mark Cruz named Finals MVP". Inquirer.net. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Full Results: 2015 PBA Rookie Draft". GMANetwork.com. Retrieved 30 October 2015.
  8. ^ Sacamos, Karlo. "Mark Cruz thankful for one-conference Star deal, draws confidence from mentor Abarrientos". SPIN.ph. Retrieved 5 November 2015.
  9. ^ "Star lands RR Garcia in 8-player trade with GlobalPort, Phoenix". InterAksyon. May 11, 2016. Retrieved May 31, 2016.
  10. ^ Baybado, Daryl Angelo (August 16, 2014). "Fearless Knight". lifestyle.inquirer.net. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  11. ^ Olivares, Matthew. "Mark Cruz: In the land of the giants". Philippine Star. Retrieved 30 October 2015.