It’s official. Jericho Cruz is now a part of the San Miguel Beermen.
The 31-year old Cruz, who spent the last three seasons with NLEX, signed a three-year contract with the flagship team of the SMC group at the company’s headquarters on Tuesday.
The contract of the 9th overall pick of the 2014 PBA draft with the Road Warriors expired on Monday, February 28, automatically making him an unrestricted free agent.
Cruz is a beneficiary of the new PBA rule which allows players to sign with the team of their choice once they’ve reached their 8th year in the league. It is only applicable, however, for those drafted after 2013.
The 6-foot-1 Fil-Guamanian became the second former Adamson Falcon to join the league’s winningest franchise. Rodney Brondial earlier turned down an offer from the Alaska Aces and then signed with the Beermen in order to play once again for collegiate mentor Leo Austria.
Among the duo’s batchmates who moved on to their preferred destinations are Chris Banchero, Nards Pinto and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser.
Cruz, who submitted 10-game averages of 10.2 points, 2.9 boards and 2.6 assists in 24 minutes of action for the Yeng Guiao-mentored squad this conference, will make his SMB debut on Thursday, March 3 against Rain or Shine.
Incidentally, Cruz played his final game for the MVP-owned franchise against the Elasto Painters last February 25.