Basketball player Jervy Cruz has already gotten used to the loud cheers and the admiration of fans whenever his team, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, plays at the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) games.
But the 30-year old athlete shares that just like many other successful players in his industry, he had also endured so much just to get where he is now. “Sobrang blessed ako kasi narating ko ang narating ko (I am blessed to be where I am now),” he said. “Galing akong probinsya pero pangarap ko lang talaga maging isang PBA player (I came from the province but I really wanted to be a PBA player).”
Cruz recalled that he started regularly playing basketball back in highschool (in Nueva Ecija) and was already dead-set on his dreams that time. However, he admitted that back then, he thought it was not possible to attain his ambition.
Working hard for his goal
In college, Cruz became more disciplined as he further held on to his dream of making it big in the industry. “Nung nag college ako, 4 a.m. pa lang gising na ako, tapos Team B ako ng 4 years. So feeling ko, bakit ganoon (In college, I usually get up by 4 a.m. though I was just playing for Team B for 4 years. I was wondering why I wasn’t given the big break).”
Despite that, Cruz never doubted his skills. He kept his unwavering faith and kept the dream alive. “Ang sabi ko sa sarili ko pag susuko na ako: konti na lang, kaya ko pa, kaya ko pa ito (I used to tell myself whenever I feel like giving up: I can do this).”
It took several years for Cruz to finally get the break he had been aspiring for. The first one came when was tapped to join the University of Santo Tomas (UST) basketball team for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP). After college, he played with another team before finally landing it big with Barangay Ginebra.
Inspiring younger basketball players
Having accomplished a dream that most young basketball players aspire for, Jervy has made it his advocacy to inspire more young players to hold on to that dream. He has become the voice for Under Armour’s latest program, FIBA 3×3 U18 Asia Cup.
3×3 basketball, or streetball, is the largest urban team sport in the world. With 12-second shot clock and 10-minute or first team to earn 21 points format, the games are usually fast, accessible, and entertaining for players and audience alike. The format made its global competitive debut at the 2010 Summer Youth Olympics in Singapore and the World Champions have been regularly organized by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) since then.
The Under Armour 3×3 Southeast Asia 2017 Tournament will take place simultaneously at the Cebu City Sports Club and Ayala Center Cebu on April 22 and 23, 2017. The Manila leg will be held at the Bonifacio Global City on April 28 to April 30, 2017.
A big opportunity
The 3×3 tournament is open to all U-18 male and female basketballers. Every player who signs up will receive a set of Under Armour teamwear that consists of a UA Tech Tank Top and UA Baseline Basketball Shorts. All players will also be entitled to a 25% discount on Under Armour basketball footwear, including the latest signature Curry 3 Basketball Shoes, which could deliver infinite support and total control while playing.
The winning team will get S$1,000 (P36,000) in prize money and the chance to be part of the national contingent that will be sent to compete against winners from Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore in the FIBA 3×3 U18 Asia Cup on May 26 to May 28 at Cyberjaya Gem in Mall, Malaysia. Flights and accommodation for all teams will be fully paid by Under Armour.
Registration locations are available online at www.ua3x3.com and can be made at all Under Armour Brand Houses and partner stores until April 12, 2017.