MANILA, Philippines -- NCAA Season 91 Finals MVP Mark Cruz quietly inked a short term contract with the Star Hotshots on Tuesday.
Cruz, who logged in 14 points, six rebounds and seven assists in the title-clincher against San Beda, was selected by the Hotshots in the third round (30th overall pick) in the last PBA Draft.
"Nakapirma na siya kanina. Tinanggap na namin 'yung offer [nila] kahit short term lang kako basta ma-activate siya kaysa ma-reserve," Cruz's agent Danny Espiritu told Philstar.com shortly after their contract signing.
Espiritu did not provide further details but Philstar.com learned from a source that Cruz signed a one-conference deal.
The Letran star point guard's contract is a far cry from the lucrative and lengthy deals signed by his teammate Kevin Racal and his San Beda rivals Baser Amer and Art dela Cruz.
Dela Cruz and Amer signed two and three-year max rookie contracts with Blackwater and Meralco, respectively, while Racal got a two-year deal with Alaska.
Things, however, are not as rosy for Cruz as the Hotshots are currently stacked at the backcourt.
"Hindi muna siya kaagad makakalaro kasi he just joined us," Star coach Jason Webb said on Monday.
Cruz joined his first practice with the Hotshots last Monday. If activated, the Letran spitfire will be the Hotshots' fourth point guard in the lineup behind Mark Barroca, Alex Mallari and Justin Melton.
While some pundits are doubting his transition to the PBA due to his tiny 5-foot-5 frame, his Letran coach Aldin Ayo vouched for his big heart.
"Yung ginagawa niya sa amin for 28, 30 minutes imagine-in mo kung gagawin niya yun kahit pa-five minutes, five minutes sa PBA," Ayo said. "Tatakbuhan niya lang lahat. Sobra-sobra ang energy at puso nang batang yan."
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