After suffering a crushing defeat against the Café France Bakers on opening day, the Tanduay Rhum Masters vented their frustration on the Wangs Basketball Couriers in a 94-81 win, Monday afternoon at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Rhum Masters found their groove in the second half, as they used a 13-4 spurt to close out the third frame and grab a 77-61 edge. Their lead would balloon to 22, 84-62, thanks to a three from Paul Sanga with 8:22 remaining.
However, the lead would go down to as low as 13, much to coach Lawrence Chongson’s dismay.
“Sino pa naman magiging masaya? You can say na hindi pa gising yung mga bata. May nakakaligtaan pa sila,” he shared. “Not to undermine the opponent but we were up by 20 tapos papahabulin ng ganun?”
Mark Cruz paced Tanduay with 27 points and three rebounds, while Bong Quinto got 14 markers, six boards, and five assists in the win.
“Ayoko sana siyang i-overwork. Ayoko yun sana mangyari. Si Mark Cruz gagawa yan pero sooner or later mahahabol din siya,” Chongson said about the 5-foot-6 gunslinger. “Ang challenge ko sa mga players is to step-up and huwag mag-rely sa kanya.”
Raphy Reyes also chipped in 13 points and five assists, and Dave Moralde added 11, as the Rhum Masters rebounded from their 83-67 season-opening defeat to Café France last week.
Tanduay won the battle on the block, out-rebounding Wangs 55-47.
Mark Brana carried Wangs Basketball with 13 points and six rebounds off the bench, while Rey Publico tallied 12 markers and eight boards in the loss.
The Tanduay Rhum Masters (1-1) look to sustain their groove when they face the AMA Online Education Titans (2-0) on Thursday, February 2, at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City. On the other hand, the Wangs Basketball Couriers (1-1) hope to get back on the winning track on the same day when they face the Cignal-San Beda Hawkeyes (0-1).
Tanduay 94 – Cruz 27, Quinto 14, Reyes 13, Moralde 11, Cenal 6, Sanga 6, Sollano 6, Eguilos 4, Santos 4, Palma 2, Varilla 1.
Wangs 81 – Brana 13, Publico 12, Tambeling 10, C. Gomez 9, Labing-isa 9, Tayongtong 8, M. Gomez 6, Acosta 4, Enriquez 4, Montuano 4, Salcedo 2, Juruena 0, King 0, Regalado 0.
Quarterscores: 23-17, 52-41, 77-61, 94-81.