MARK Cruz showed the way anew as Tanduay beat Victoria Sports, 86-72, on Tuesday in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at the JCSGO Gym.
Cruz scored 22 points, all in the first half when the Rhum Masters erected an 18-point lead.
Aris Dionisio and Edcel Mag-isa pushed Victoria Sports to within four points in the third but the Rhum Masters recovered to make it three straight wins after dropping their opening match.
Jaymo Eguilos, Adi Santos, Paul Sanga and Bong Quinto hit big baskets to douse the Victoria Sports rally and help the Rhum Masters grab solo second spot.
"Bilog ang bola, yung kalaban mo won't just lie down. lalaban talaga yan. Kailangan lang naming pag-igihan pa sa practice gearing towards our next games, puro malalakas na," said Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson.
Victoria Sports remained winless in three outings.
Dionisio paced Victoria with 16 points, Mag-isa added 14 and Zach Nichols scored 12 for Victoria.
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 SPORTS 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.