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PBA: Elasto’s Cruz, Ross to share spotlight

San Miguel Beer stopper Chris Ross and Rain or Shine’s Jericho Cruz will be among the top awardees in the 2016 PBA Press Corps Annual Awards Night set tomorrow at the Gloria Maris restaurant inside the Gateway Mall.

Ross will be this year’s recipient of the Mighty Sports Defensive Player of the Year, while Cruz has been named as Mr. Quality Minutes. The affair, presented by CIGNAL, is scheduled at 7 p.m.

The 6-foot-1 Ross helped SMB win the Philippine Cup, displaying the type of defense that helped the Beermen bounce back from a 0-3 deficit against Alaska in the finals to record a historic comeback to win the best-of-seven title showdown.

Ross has been named in the All-Defensive team by the PBA, from where the PBAPC picked the winner of the Defensive Player of the Year, which was won last year by another SMB player in June Mar Fajardo.

This previous season, the 6-foot-1 Ross averaged nearly seven points, four rebounds and five assists.

As for Cruz, the league’s Most Improved Player awardee, won the award for making the biggest impact coming for Rain or Shine – led by former head coach Yeng Guiao (now with NLEX).

In 53 games this past season, Cruz came off the bench for more than 40 matches with averages of almost 13 points, four rebounds and three assists as he played a key role in ROS’s title run during the Commissioner’s Cup against Alaska.