By Dugout Philippines
QUEZON CITY--Mark Cruz and Jerwin Gaco provided the lift to carry Tanduay to an 86-66 win over Batangas on Monday, halting its two-game losing skid in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at JCSGO Gym.
Brandishing their experience playing in the PBA, the ex-pros were crucial in helping the Rhum Masters stop the bleeding and rise to a 4-3 card.
Cruz caught fire with 29 points, three assists, and two rebounds, while Gaco immediately made his imprint, tallying 22 markers, 11 boards, and three assists in his Tanduay debut.
"The whole country knows Jerwin Gaco, his experience and his tenacity. Baka marami pang natitira sa tangke niya at maging hulog ng langit sya sa amin," said coach Lawrence Chongson.
Leaning behind Cruz and Gaco, the Rhum Masters unleashed a 24-8 second quarter, with the two combining for 16 markers before erecting a 41-27 halftime edge. The lead would balloon to 22, 86-64 late in the game.
Jaymo Eguilos also chipped in 11 points and four rebounds, while Bong Quinto had 10 markers, six assists, and four boards.
The win wasn't only beneficial for Tanduay, as it clinched Racal, Cafe France, and AMA Online Education quarterfinal seats.
Joseph Sedurifa topped Batangas (3-5) with 14 points, Jessie Saitanan got 11 markers and four boards, and Dan Sara got 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists in the loss.
Tanduay 86-Cruz 29, Gaco 22, Eguilos 11, Quinto 10, Vigil 5, Santos 3, Cenal 2, Sollano 2, Villamor 2, Asuncion 0, Palma 0, Sanga 0, Stevens 0, Varilla 0
Batangas 66-Sedurifa 14, Saitanan 11, Sara 10, Ablaza 7, Isit 6, De Joya 4, Mangabang 4, Dela Pena 3, Delfinado 3, Andrada 2, Laude 2, Fortu 0, Inciong 0, Lascano 0
Quarterscores: 17-19, 41-27, 64-52, 86-66
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