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Early life and High school career Dela Cruz started playing basketball when he was in 4th grade at St. Mary’s Academy in Bulacan. It was his father, Arturo dela Cruz, Sr., known as Art dela Cruz, himself a former PBA player, who first introduced him to the sport. In high school he played as power forward of the San Beda Red Cubs. College career Dela Cruz first attended college at the Ateneo de Manila University for one year. He suited up for the Blue Eagles as a rookie in 2010 and played a key role in their campaign, when the Blue Eagles won the title that year. The following year, he returned to his high school alma mater, San Beda College, served one year of residency before finally seeing action for the Red Lions in 2012. Initially, he was a backup to Jake Pascual, but he took the starting "4" slot when Pascual already played out his college eligibility in 2013. In that same year, the Red Lions won their fourth straight title at the expense of Letran, when he was awarded the Finals MVP. In 2015, he led the Red Lions to the Finals once again, only to lose in three games at the expense of the Letran Knights. In his last collegiate game, he finished with a team-high 15 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 13 boards and was two assists shy of a triple-double, on top of two blocks and one steal in 34 minutes in the deciding Game Three. Professional career Dela Cruz was picked ninth overall by the Blackwater Elite of the Philippine Basketball Association in the 2015 PBA draft. On October 30, 2015, he signed the two-year rookie deal with Blackwater. Personal life Dela Cruz is the son of former PBA player and current Phoenix Fuel Masters assistant coach Arthur dela Cruz. He took up AB in Communications in San Beda College and his long-term plan is to help his mother with their family business in Bulacan.