By Dugout Philippines
QUEZON CITY—Tanduay moved to solo second place with an 86-72 win over Victoria Sports-MLQU Tuesday in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at JCSGO Gym.
Mark Cruz orchestrated the Rhum Masters pullaway, dropping all of his 22 points in the first half, as he went on a 5-of-6 shooting from threes, alongside four assists and three rebounds.
Raphy Reyes chipped in 10 markers, four assists, and three boards, while Jaymo Eguilos missed out on a double-double of nine points and 10 rebounds as Tanduay rose up to a 3-1 record.
The Rhum Masters allowed Victoria Sports to recover, as their 18-point lead, 39-21 in the second quarter, turned to just a four-point advantage, 63-59 to end the third frame with Aris Dionisio leading the fight for their foes.
Tanduay, though, unleashed a telling 11-0 tear to open the fourth, taking a 74-59 lead and sealing the game for good.
"Bilog ang bola eh," said coach Lawrence Chongson. "Yung kalaban naman, they won't lie down and play dead. Pero for us, we just wanted to continue our progress and our buildup especially towards our next games."
Dionisio led the still-winless Victoria Sports (0-3) with 16 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks, while Edsel Mag-isa had 14 markers and three assists in the loss.
In the first game, Cafe France dealt Blu Star Detergent a 36-point beatdown with a 88-52 victory.
Paul Desiderio scattered 19 points and three assists for the Bakers, while Rod Ebondo did it all as he wound up with 14 markers, eight rebounds, two dimes, and two blocks.
Everybody did their share for Cafe France as all 14 men scored at least two points in the rout.
However, it was the Bakers' defense which did the trick as they held the Dragons to a measly six points in the second frame to break away, 51-22 at halftime.
Coach Egay Macaraya lauds his players for the all-out effort, but seeks to develop the team's chemistry more as Cafe France gears up for tougher foes ahead.
"Gusto ko pa sila mag-jell. I have four new players here, so kahit na lamang kami, our rotation is still the same. I want our team to jell because we know that our next games will be tougher," he said, as Cafe France improved to 2-1.
The Bakers also bounced back from their 88-74 loss to Cignal-San Beda last Thursday.
Mak Long Seng carried Blu (0-3) with 15 points, nine rebounds, and two assists, while new acquisition Jason Melano finished with 12 markers, three boards, and three dimes in the loss.
Café France-CEU 88-Desiderio 19, Ebondo 14, Veron 9, Manlangit 8, Gabriel 7, Arim 6, Aquino 4, Guinitaran 4, Jeruta 4, Calisaan 3, Casino 3, Opiso 3, Faundo 2, Wamar 2
Blu 52-Mak 15, Melano 12, Kwaan 11, Heng 5, Ong 5, Ang 4, Choong 0, Gan 0, Kamalrulzaman 0, Liaw 0, Liew 0, Wong 0, Chin 0
Quarterscores: 21-16, 51-22, 68-36, 88-52
Tanduay 86-Cruz 22, Reyes 10, Eguilos 9, Quinto 9, Sanga 9, Santos 9, Sollano 8, Palma 5, Raymundo 3, Cenal 2, Ibay 0, Napoles 0, Varilla 0
Victoria-MLQU 72-Dionisio 16, Mag-isa 14, Nicholls 12, Lao 6, Bitoon 5, Koga 5, Grimaldo 4, Sorela 4, Herndon 3, Ragasa 3, Butron 0
Quarterscores: 27-17, 53-38, 63-59, 86-72
Follow the site on Twitter: @DugoutPH