Gaco, Cruz power Tanduay past Batangas
Ex-pros Mark Cruz and Jerwin Gaco helped Tanduay stop a two-game losing skid after an 86-66 victory over Batangas in the 2017 PBA D-League Aspirants’ Cup Monday at JCSGO Gym in Cubao.
Cruz, the diminutive guard out of Letran, fired 29 points on top of three assists while Gaco collected 22 markers, 11 boards, and three assists in his D-League debut.
“The whole country knows Jerwin Gaco, his experience and his tenacity. Maybe he still has a lot left in his tank and he’ll be heaven sent for us,” said Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson.
The duo teamed up in a huge second quarter charge, scoring 16 of Tanduay’s 24 points as it pulled away from the Batanguenos for a 41-27 halftime lead before extending the lead to 22, 86-64, late in the game.
Jaymo Eguilos added 11 points and four rebounds while Bong Quinto got 10 markers, six assists, and four boards.
Tanduay improved its record to 4-3. The Rhum Masters’ win also formalized the entry of Racal, Cafe France, and AMA Online Education to the quarterfinals.
The loss dealt a big blow to Batangas’ playoff chances as it dropped to 3-5.
Joseph Sedurifa paced Batangas with 14 points, Jessie Saitanan got 11 markers and four boards while Dan Sara tallied 10 points, three rebounds, and three assists.
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.
Quarters: 17-19, 41-27, 64-52, 86-66.