Justin Arana leads All-Rookie team
MANILA -- Jericho Cruz and Roi Sumang will have their turn in the spotlight during the PBA Press Corps Awards Night on Nov. 20 at Novotel Manila Araneta City.
San Miguel's Cruz is Mr. Quality Minutes while Sumang will receive the William ‘Bogs’ Adornado Comeback Player of the Year Award. Meanwhile, Justin Arana of Converge leads the All-Rookie Team.
Arana is joined by Ato 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.
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.
This is the second time that Cruz has earned the award, having also been named Mr. Quality minutes in the 2015-16 season when he was still with Rain or Shine.
Sumang meanwhile, came back from a hamstring injury and revived 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.