Former Letran star Mark Cruz starts over in D-League, but he's not giving up on PBA dream
Former Star guard Mark Cruz is back in the D-League with Tanduay. Dante Peralta

MARK Cruz is back in the D-League with the Tanduay Rhum Masters, but that doesn't mean he has given up on his PBA dream.

Far from it.

In fact, the former Letran star sees his D-League comeback as a chance to prove himself all over again after a one-year stint in the pro league with the Star Hotshots and Phoenix Fuel Masters.

"Oo naman. Alam ko na kailangan ko i-prove ulit ang sarili ko," said the 5-foot-6 point guard after his Tanduay debut ended in a 67-83 loss to Cafe France on Monday afternoon.

[See Cafe France holds off Tanduay comeback for stirring D-League debut]

The hero of Letran's upset of San Beda in the 2015 NCAA finals is taking a very positive approach to his D-League return, saying it only serves to fire up his dream to do well in the PBA.

"Ito muna siguro yung para sa akin. Who knows, baka makabalik ako (sa PBA). Every game I take it as a challenge. There's pressure but I take it as a motivation."

Cruz scored 11 points and had five assists for Tanduay in his debut, but admitted the Rhum Masters are still lacking in chemistry after a buildup in the offseason.

"Actually, yun ang problem namin talaga. A month pa lang kami nagsasama. Wino-work out naman namin at yun ang mga bagay na alam namin na dapat pa iimprove," said the pint-sized guard. 

That time will soon come, Cruz said confidently.

"Continue to play lang. Kanina nag-give up agad kami. Trust din sa isa't isa," he said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @janbballesteros