I first heard about Jervy Cruz’ exploits at UST, before I saw him play. His stats of grabbing 15+ rebounds per game was starting to make people take notice of his game. No other notable Center in recent times had those type of numbers in the UAAP or NCAA, except for the San Beda Red Lion’s import, Sam Ekwe. Even guys like Kerby Raymundo, Danny Ildefonso & Enrico Villanueva were never as prolific in terms of rebounding during their time in college.
When I finally saw Jervy play, instead of being enlightened, I was even more mystified how he could come up w/ those numbers. First, he’s not particularly tall, probably no more than 6’4″. Second, he is not a great leaper. In a game against the De La Salle Green Archers, for example, I even saw him get blocked at least twice by DLSU’s Center, Rico Maierhoffer.
Despite his lack of height or athleticism, he was still ended up posting huge numbers in that game, blocking shots & grabbing rebounds left & right. Which leads me to wonder what other physical factors that come into play that he could come up w/ the numbers he has been coming up so far.
The theory, is that Jervy may lack athleticism, but he is gifted w/ other physical factors that come together rarely, & that makes him unique, enough for him to come up w/ the numbers he has.
First, I think Jervy has very good timing & reflexes. What this means, is that whenever the ball is within his arm’s reach, or jumping reach (no matter how short that jump maybe), Jervy is able to either swat it, or grab it. Whenever a ball being shot by an opposing player is within his physical reach, he is able to tap it away, enabling him to have decent shotblocking numbers. Same thing w/ rebounds. Whenever a ball is in play within his physical reach, he is able to tap and/or grab it.
Second, I think Jervy has large and/or strong hands. This is important for tapping & then grabbing a ball that is in play in the air w/ one hand.
The combination of quick reflexes, good timing & large/strong hands enable Jervy to be able to come up w/ those dominating rebounding numbers, & decent shotblocking skills. If this theory is true, then I think he will be able to bring his rebounding game beyond his stint w/ the University of Santo Tomas’ Tigers. He is currently a member of the South East Asian (SEA) National Team, his first major stint outside of the UAAP, & if he can bring his rebounding dominance there, it means he should be able bring it anywhere also.