PBA: Hot-shooting Converge torches NorthPort
MANILA, Philippines—Converge picked up where it left off in the previous conference and frustrated a shorthanded NorthPort squad, 122-92, on Sunday in the PBA Governors’ Cup at Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
The FiberXers knocked down 16 three-pointers on their way to starting the season-ending tournament on the right note while dealing new Batang Pier coach Bonnie Tan a loss in his debut.
“We started slow in the first quarter. But after that, everybody was executing,” said coach Aldin Ayo, whose team took control after outscoring the Batang Pier, 40-21, in the second quarter from a 26-25 lead.
Maverick Ahanmisi scored 29 points with six rebounds and nine assists to lead Converge’s triumph. He was one of seven players in double figures.
But Converge also drew strong plays from new acquisition Jerrick Balanza with 13 points and four assists against his former team.
Import Ethan Rusbatch had 17 points and nine rebounds but the FiberXers believe that the PBA’s first New Zealand-born player would fit quite well despite the decent production.
Rusbatch’s NorthPort counterpart Marcus Weathers finished with 37 points but NorthPort dearly missed ace scorer Robert Bolick.
Bolick didn’t play due to hamstring issues, while veteran Arwind Santos remains out with a knee problem he’s been dealing since the Commissioner’s Cup.
Arvin Tolentino was NorthPort’s top local scorer with 12 even as Joshua Munzon, taken from Terrafirma in a trade before the third conference, had nine points in his first game.
CONVERGE 122 — Ahanmisi 29, Rusbatch 17, Teng 16, Tratter 13, Balanza 13, Murrell 12 Browne 11, Arana 6, Racal 3, Stockton 2, Ebona 0, Tolomia 0, Ambohot 0.
NORTHPORT 92 — Weathers 37, Tolentino 12, Calma 10, Munzon 9, Sumang 5, Chan 5, Salado 4, Caperal 2, Taha 2, Vigil 2, Ayaay 2, Balagasay 2, Zamar 0, Dela Cruz 0.
Quarters: 26-25, 66-46, 88-69, 122-92.
PBA: Jerrick Balanza gets traded to Converge, reunites with Aldin Ayo
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