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NLEX guard Jericho Cruz has opted to finish the PBA Governors’ Cup before entertaining the possibility of becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The Road Warriors said recently that Cruz agreed to a short extension that will expire after the season-ending conference before the two parties go back on the negotiating table.

“On the side of the coaching staff and the management, there’s no question that we want to keep Jericho,” said NLEX coach Yeng Guiao, through the team’s official website.

Cruz can exercise his option of signing for any team under the new league’s free agency rule for players who were drafted starting in his rookie class in 2014.

His fellow batchmates opted to sign with new teams after their contracts expired last Dec. 31, with Rodney Brondial leaving Alaska for San Miguel Beer, Nards Pinto going from Meralco to Barangay Ginebra and Matt Ganuelas-Rosser moving to TNT after a stint with Terrafirma.

READ: Brondial, Pinto find new home

Phoenix Super LPG’s Chris Banchero, another 2014 draftee is set to expire at the end of the month, there’s been plenty of speculation if he’ll stay or accept offers from other ballclubs.

Guiao is hoping Cruz, his long-time player dating back to their days with Rain or Shine, will remain part of the NLEX roster once they try to work on a long-term deal in the offseason.

“We’ve already started our talks with Jericho and from my point of view, of course, this is just my personal perspective, I think Jericho wants to play for us,” said Guiao.

“I don’t really see any serious problem trying to extend Jericho for another couple of years.”

Guiao drafted Cruz as the ninth overall pick in the 2014 draft, with the two being together at Rain or Shine for two seasons.

The two reunited beginning in 2019 when NLEX acquired Cruz from TNT in a three-team trade that included NorthPort.

Source: Manila Bulletin (