Even after fifth straight win, Ayo not calling his team contenders yet | Inquirer Sports

Even after fifth straight win, Ayo not calling his team contenders yet

/ 05:10 AM November 06, 2022

Aljun Melecio Converge PBA

Converge guard Aljun Melecio. PBA IMAGES

ANTIPOLO CITY—Having pocketed a fifth straight victory in the Philippine Basketball Association Commissioner’s Cup, Converge should have certainly earned its place among the title favorites.

FiberXers coach Aldin Ayo was quick to dismiss the notion.


“It’s too early to tell,” Ayo said Saturday night after Converge dismantled NLEX, 108-84, at Ynares Center here. “We’re still at the eliminations. Five straight wins, yes, but some of our opponents were not complete.”


“[Meralco] was without Chris Newsome. San Miguel, June Mar (Fajardo). So it’s not like we could really consider those as victories. Those teams were shorthanded and we still have a long way to go,” he said.

Ayo was factually correct. But the numbers tell another story.

Converge has now six wins against two losses, tied with powerhouse Bay Area at second. The Dragons were the last team to beat the FiberXers—and barely at that after Ayo’s wards fought back from deep holes to make a game of it in the stretch—before their current run.

And Converge did not have it easy against NLEX. The FiberXers bucked the early exit of import Quincy Miller and went on to play with poise behind the leadership of Aljun Melecio and fellow youngsters Justin Arana and Jeo Ambohot.

Miller was ejected in the first half for profane language.

Melecio reset his career-best outing for a third time this conference with 24 points while issuing six assists. Jeron Teng had 14 points while Arana had 12. Ambohot added seven spiked with 12 rebounds.


“[W]e really have to give credit to the players … They’re executing and playing well,” said Ayo, whose squad faces idling Phoenix, which is also on a five-game streak, next week.

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“I’ve been asking the team since we got to two consecutive wins—confidence or complacency? We’re confident but at the same time we know what our opponents are capable of,” Ayo said. “We’re going to be ready.”

TAGS: Converge, NLEX, Philippine Basketball Association

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