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Monday, March 4, 2024

PBA scribes fete Sumang, Cruz, Arana

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Jericho Cruz, Roi Sumang, and Justin Arana will get a share of the limelight in the PBA Press Corps Awards Night on Nov. 20 at Novotel Manila Araneta City.

Cruz of San Miguel is Mr. Quality Minutes, Sumang is the recipient of the William ‘Bogs’ Adornado Comeback Player of the Year, and Arana leads the All-Rookie team.

Named Rookie of the Year of PBA Season 47, Arana, the promising big man of Converge, is at the forefront of the All-Rookie honor which includes Renato Ular of Blackwater, no. 1 overall pick Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser of NLEX, Phoenix guard Tyler Tio, and Encho Serrano, formerly of Phoenix.

The 33-year-old Cruz meanwhile, was the choice as Mr. Quality Minutes or equivalent to the Sixth Man of the Year award after being a major contributor to a star-studded San Miguel team despite coming off the bench for most of last season.

Cruz averaged 11.3 points last year when he won his first championship with the Beermen during the Philippine Cup.

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He’s the latest recipient of the award whose previous winners include the likes of Bong Alvarez, Rodney Santos, Mark Caguioa, Ronald Tubid, PJ Simon, Jayson Castro, Larry Fonacier, Jervy Cruz, Jio Jalalon, Vic Manuel, Calvin Abueva, among others.

It’s actually the second time Cruz will be named Mr. Quality Minutes, which he first won during the 2015-16 season when he was still with Rain or Shine.

Sumang, meanwhile, came back from a hamstring injury and relived his role as a reliable backcourt backup to Robert Bolick at Northport.

He played a total of 32 games – tied at third with five others for the most number of games played among the Batang Pier – and averaged 8.8 points, 3.4 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 1.0 steal to become the unanimous choice for the Comeback Player of the Year.

The award was named after Adornado, the three-time PBA MVP winner, who successfully came back from two career-threatening knee injuries and became one of the greatest players in league history.

Past winners of the Comeback Player of the Year were Yoyoy Villamin, Bong Alvarez, Benjie Paras, Ato Agustin, Danny Seigle, Kelly Williams, Paul Lee, Alex Cabagnot, and just last year June Mar Fajardo.

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