Mark Cruz credits 'leader and enforcer' Jerwin Gaco for Tanduay resurgence
Mark Cruz says new additions including PBA vets like Jerwin Gaco have made a major impact on Tanduay's resurgence. Dante Peralta

DESPITE Tanduay’s back-to-back wins, Mark Cruz said there is so much more the Rhum Masters need to address in the final stretch of the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup.

For the spitfire guard out of Letran, playing with consistency should be their main concern as they push for a twice-to-beat edge in the quarterfinals.

The Rhum Masters struggled early in the opening conference, but have found their groove in the past two games. On Thursday, Tanduay dominated from start to finish in a 78-60 win over Blustar, holding on to fourth place with a 5-3 record.

"Yun talaga nagiging sakit ng team eh. Unti-unti naman naming ginagamot yun," said Cruz, referring to their inconsistent play.

"Sinasabi nga namin sa teammates namin na 'pag lumamang, kailangan i-hold na namin yun at 'wag na pahabulin [yung kabila]. Medyo mahirap talaga [hasain] yung consistency pero ginagawa naman namin yung best namin para doon," he added.

[See Tanduay boosts twice-to-beat-bid with rout over Blustar]

Part of their recent success, added Cruz, can be attributed to their new recruits, including PBA veteran Jerwin Gaco.

"Malaki yung impact nila sa leadership lalo si Jerwin kasi nakatatak na yan na Jerwin Gaco. Leader namin siya, at the same time enforcer pa," said Cruz, whose team also got boost from Denice Villamor and Jaycee Asuncion.

"Pag nagsabi siya, nakikinig talaga kami kasi marami nang experience yan. Marami pa namang ibubuga si Jerwin. Tsaka si Villamor. Yung experience nila sa PBA tsaka yung leadership, yun yung pinaka-importanteng nakuha namin sa kanila," he added.

Tanduay coach Lawrence Chongson, though, said it's too early to tell whether these players have really made an impact in their resurgence.

"Too premature to give an accurate assessment," said Chongson after Thursday's win. 

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros