Robinson Cano continues to grow as a leader, and it is time for Cano to take over leadership duties with the Yankees, who need to be his team.

Cano is the undisputed leader of the Dominican Republic squad that will face off against Puerto Rico tonight in the World Baseball Classic version of the Caribbean World Series at AT&T Park.

The Dominican Republic beat the Netherlands 4-1 last night before 27,527 fans to reach the championship game, thanks in part to the Power of the Platano — more on that later. The Netherlands knocked the Dominicans out of the WBC in 2009.

Much has been made about the bad things that can happen at this tournament, such as injuries, but what about the good things? Cano taking a leadership role is one of the best things to come out of this tournament.

Moises Alou is general manager of the Dominican team and he said this about Cano after last night’s win: “Robby has been a tremendous leader and has something to say before every game and that has made my job so much easier. He’s shown leadership in the clubhouse and on the field.’’

Derek Jeter remains the Yankees’ leader. Cano will always give The Captain ultimate respect, but there is a void that must be filled. Mariano Rivera is in his last season. Alex Rodriguez is a shell of his former self. Clearly, the time is ripe for Cano, 30, to move into a lead role with the Yankees.

Cano was on base three more times last night and is hitting .517 for the tournament. He was named MVP of the two earlier brackets, and his team has already beaten Puerto Rico twice.