Tanduay boosts twice-to-beat bid in Aspirants Cup with rout of winless Blustar
Jerwin Gaco helps the Rhum Masters take their fifth win in eight outings. Dante Peralta

TANDUAY eased past Blustar Detergent, 78-60, on Thursday in the PBA D-League Aspirants' Cup at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

Behind Mark Cruz, the Rhum Masters raced to a scintillating 17-10 start before ending the half with a 44-20 advantage. 

Cruz dropped 13 of his 17 points in the first 20 minutes of action and Tanduay kept control the entire match.

Jerwin Gaco and Paul Sanga added 10 points apiece for the Rhum Masters, who led by as many as 31 points. 

Tanduay improved its win-loss record to 5-3 to take provisional fourth spot behind Cignal-San Beda (7-1), Cafe France (6-1), and Racal (6-1). 

The Rhum Masters have a shot at gaining a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals, and coach Lawrence Chongson is urging the players to keep the intensity high.

"Alam naman namin yung scenario. How we're gonna perform is another story," said Chongson.

"The way we're performing is still a concern for me. Hopefully mag-jel na kami."

Blustar remained winless in eight outings. 

Tristan Perez paced the Dragons with 20 points and nine rebounds, Jason Melano scored 15 and Vincent Choong added 10.

The scores:

Tanduay 78 - Cruz 17, Gaco 10, Sanga 10, Santos 8, Varilla 7, Eguilos 6, Vigil 6, Stevens 3, Villamor 3, Asuncion 2, Cenal 2, Palma 2, Quinto 2, Sollano 0.

Blustar 60 - Perez 20, Choong 15, Melano 10, Mak 6, Liaw 5, Ong 4, Heng 0, Ang 0, Kwaan 0, Chin 0.

Quarterscores: 17-10; 44-20; 66-42; 78-60.


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