From college to pros: Ferrer, Cruz savor reunion with Pido at NorthPort

MANILA, Philippines – Just like old times. 

Kevin Ferrer and Jervy Cruz reunited with former UST coach Pido Jarencio at NorthPort and immediately made an impact in a 127-99 romp of Blackwater in the 2019 PBA Commissioner's Cup on Saturday, June 22.

Seeing action for a different team aside from Barangay Ginebra for the first time in his PBA career, Ferrer flourished under Jarencio's system and delivered 23 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds as a starter.

"I missed being a player for coach Pido," Ferrer, who reached the UAAP finals twice with Jarencio, said in Filipino. 

"Since college, I treated him as a father. I know that he wouldn't leave me hanging so I'll always give my 100% for him." 

Cruz, meanwhile, put up a double-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 1 block in 23 minutes of action – a far cry from his average playing time of 2.4 minutes for the Gin Kings in the mid-season conference. 

"I'm glad that I'm playing for him. He was my coach in college and then he wanted me to play for him again. He knows how I play," Cruz, who won a UAAP title with Jarencio in 2006, said in Filipino. 

"It's different at Ginebra. I only play for a limited time there because there are plenty of big men. As a player, of course I want to be used." 

Both winning 3 PBA crowns with Ginebra, Ferrer and Cruz look to provide the winning mentality for a Batang Pier squad seeking their first title. 

"I can't promise that we'll win a championship but we'll do our best. Whatever experience we gained from Ginebra, like the championship experience, we'll bring here at NorthPort," Ferrer. 

NorthPort, currently tied with TNT at the top of the standings at 7-1, shoots for its fifth straight win when it tangles with Phoenix at the Araneta Coliseum on Wednesday, June 26.

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.