first_imgLevi Dela Cruz. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netIt’s no secret that Arellano will live and die by Kent Salado this NCAA Season 93.But it doesn’t mean that there’s no contingency plan for the Chiefs.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief LATEST STORIES LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:02Chief Justice Peralta vows to lead by example, bares 10-point program01:31Go: Search for ‘perfect, honest man’ to lead PNP still on01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Enter 22-year-old Levi dela Cruz.The diminutive Davaoeño playmaker has bid his time playing behind the spitfire guard all season long but he stepped out of the shadows on Friday to help Arellano nab the 87-81 come-from-behind win against St. Benilde.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutDela Cruz exploded for 24 points, 12 coming in the fourth quarter in the Chiefs’ huge fightback against the Blazers, on top of four assists, three rebounds, and a block.But the transferee credited his breakout performance to coach Jerry Codiñera, who has put a premium on team defense.center_img UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension “All they’re asking me is to do defense and pressure on the backcourt. Our offense will come. We’re not rushing things, but today, I think I was a little more aggressive because I was confident with the work I’m putting in after our practices,” he said.Dela Cruz has thrived in Codiñera’s frantic system with the Chiefs’ speedy backcourt that include Salado and Marwin Taywan able to terrorize the opposing team’s guards may it be on offense or defense.“I’m used to running teams like this, playing in transition so I believe I fitted quickly to the system,” he said, looking back at his previous stops in NU and UST before arriving in Arellano last year.Dela Cruz relishes his time with Salado the most, noting that the lead Chief has undoubtedly been “a role model” for him.“It’s really all Kent. He’s our senior. All I want is to do my role whenever I’m on the floor,” he said.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ View comments San Miguel overcomes Globalport behind Santos’ heroics For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. But one good game isn’t enough, and Dela Cruz knows that he has to sustain this good showing if he wants to find his niche in Codiñera’s rotation moving forward.But more importantly, he and the Chiefs must exhibit poise in their drive to the Final Four in the second round.“We’re all positive. Coach Jerry encourages us to not be down, not get caught up by the losses and criticisms, and to stay positive,” he said.Arellano finishes its first round schedule in a Finals rematch against San Beda on Tuesday. Read Next LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Gameslast_img

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