Fourth straight triumph puts Converge in title talks
Rookie team Converge has suddenly found itself in discussions among the possible title contenders at this point of the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, as a fourth straight win carved out at the expense of Blackwater on Sunday has put the FiberXers in the top three of the standings.
And Converge coach Aldin Ayo, who is calling the shots in his first conference in the league, is the first one to express surprise at his charges’ meteoric rise.
“We haven’t thought about it,” Ayo said after a 77-71 win over the Bossing at Ynares Center in Antipolo City that gave the FiberXers a 5-2 record for solo third spot, an impressive mark for the franchise in only its second conference in the big league.
Only the visiting Bay Area Dragons (6-1) and the Magnolia Hotshots (5-1) have better records than the FiberXers, whose up-tempo brand of play has impressed rivals and followers of the midseason conference.
But Ayo, always pointing out to needed improvements, insisted otherwise and wants to keep striving, as they head into a November schedule that will have Converge facing teams in the middle of the pack or barely ahead of the lower-tier squads in NLEX, Phoenix, Rain or Shine and NorthPort.
A Bonifacio Day encounter with Barangay Ginebra, originally slated late last month but was postponed due to Typhoon “Karding,” will be the most critical of what’s left in Converge’s list of foes.
“We just have to take it one game at a time, because we’re still in the process of establishing our system,” he explained. “They already have the idea of what to do, but I tell them that knowing is not enough.”
“Even if you know the system, it’s about doing it, it’s about executing it,” he explained. “And not exactly executing it, but we have to be the best in doing it. We’re still not in the state of ‘mastery’ and we still have a long way to go.”
The way Converge played during the ongoing run seems to be masterful, thanks to an offense that has made it hard for opponents to counter.
But two days removed from an incredible shooting display against perennial favorite TNT that saw 21 threes and a 130-117 rout, and averaging 111.8 points for the conference prior to tipoff, Converge found its offense almost non-existent against the Bossing.
In fact, the FiberXers barely exceeded the 73-point output they put up against the Tropang Giga in the first half while making just four threes through 48 minutes.
FiberXers import Quincy Miller already had four fouls in the first half while Blackwater kept itself in position to snap Converge’s streak.
Blackwater, with import Cameron Krutwig playing hurt, slumped to its first back-to-back defeats this conference and fell to 3-5. INQ