The 5 faces of Letranís Mark Cruz
Barry Viloria on Jul 28, 2015 03:33 PM
Find out why he is not your typical shortie. (Photos by Vyn Radovan)
We’d say much of Letran’s present top standing in the NCAA lies in the offenses of point guard Mark Cruz. ‘Small but terrible’ understates his contributions to the Knights’ first five victorious games this season. (Just last week, he pulled the team up by scoring 29 points against San Sebastian, 82-76, and 5 to beat the once unbowed Perpetual Help, 77-71.) So, duh, no questions on the ACCEL Quantum and 3XVI NCAA Press Corps Player of the Week honors he recently received.
Let’s get to know more about the man of the hour’s other side(s) here!
Mark, the serious baller.
Mark, the younger brother of UP Fighting Maroon-turned-PBA player Marvin Cruz, started playing hoops at eight. “Hilig ko lang talaga mag-basketball then nung tumatagal, tinuturuan na din ako ng Kuya ko ng mga moves kasi nasa UAAP na siya that time. Kaya, ayun na-develop.” His idols? Allen Iverson and Jimmy Alapag. “Undersized sila pero yung puso nila na maglaro, buo,” he explains.
Mark, the “kuya” of the Knights.
In his last playing year, the Management student now stands as the “big brother” in the group. “Kasi veteran na ko sa team, so ako nag-a-advise sa kanila on kung ano man ang need nila or problem nila (sa life, family, school, career),” he declares. Who is the most pasaway of them all, the one he’d usually throw his words of wisdom on? “Mc Jour Luib!” he jokes. “In a way na kengkoy lang sya but not bad influence.”
Mark, the dad.
Let’s get this out of the way. Mark, 23, is a papathlete and a proud one. His daughter Kiesha Cassandra had just turned five, who he’d love to bring to the games if only she weren’t in school. We ask how is he as a dad. He’s a doting dad, it seems. “Yung samahan namin ngayon is like hindi ko siya daughter,” he laughs. “Kung ano ang gusto niya, binibigay ko. Lagi ko sinasabi sa kanya na dapat very good sya sa school para may award or gift akong ibibigay sa kanya.” Although, he also becomes “disciplinary” at times. “Pero may limits. Syempre, young pa ko kaya I want na maintindihan ng daughter ko yung tama sa mali.”
Mark, the (not so) romantic!
Mark admits he’s not one to play it grand when it comes to pleasing her girl, Khristine Bernadette, the mother of his child. He gives a laugh before confessing, “I don’t give flowers. Siguro, I just like to surprise her. Madalas kong ginagawa yung pupuntahan o susunduin namin sya from work. Ayun.”
Mark, the shortie. Not.
The jokes may come and go about his 5’5” stature, but it doesn’t faze him.
“I’m used to it na lagi nila akong tinatawag na maliit,” he says. “Sa ‘kin okey lang kasi totoo naman, eh! Kaya ginagawa ko, yun na motivation ko sa game—na i-prove ko sa kanila na kahit maliit ako, kaya ko silang pahirapan or talunin!”
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