Young Converge will outwork everyone, says coach Ayo | Inquirer Sports

Young Converge will outwork everyone, says coach Ayo

/ 05:00 AM November 08, 2023

Young Converge will outwork everyone, says coach Ayo

Converge will enter the Commissioner’s Cup as the league’s youngest squad, according to the FiberXers coach. —PBA IMAGES

The exit of its top two scorers has pretty much brought Converge back to the early stages of a rebuilding process, but Aldin Ayo is steadfast in his belief that the FiberXers will be making up for that in several ways.

“Since we’re young, we’ll lack experience,” he said. “We’ll take it one game at a time. We know we’re not the most talented team. We’re the youngest across all spots—from players to the coaching staff.”

“One thing that’s sure is that we’re going to be the hardest-working team,” he added.


The chance to follow through on that promise begins this Wednesday, 4 p.m. at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City, when the FiberXers take on Blackwater, which, interestingly, will now be coached by their former mentor Jeff Cariaso.

“The deficiencies will be compensated with our passion and commitment to the game and to the competition,” said Ayo, alluding to the dip in firepower brought on by the departures of newly minted Most Improved Player Maverick Ahanmisi, Jeron Teng and Abu Tratter.Converge will be anchoring the team’s Commissioner’s Cup bid on Tom Vodanovich, the returning Kiwi bruiser who was nothing short of impressive in his last stint with the club.

Also helping out in the effort is Mac Tallo, a crafty guard who last played in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for the NLEX Road Warriors. The Cebuano, picked 10th overall in the 2017 Rookie Draft secured the league’s green light on the eve of the clash, marking his return to the pioneering pro league after spending several years serving 3×3 and pro-amateur clubs.Converge also boosted its brain trust, bringing in two-time Most Valuable Player Willie Miller.

The Bossing, for their part, will be looking to build on a decent outing during the exhibition caravan. The perennial whipping boys finished with a 7-4 record during that stretch, and are seeking to carry that momentum into the tournament with this year’s second overall pick Christian David.


“I cannot ask for anything more,” Cariaso said of the big guard who last played in Korea. “Once he understands how to compete in the PBA, we believe he’s gonna be special.”

Meralco takes on Rain or Shine at 8 p.m., with longtime deputy Luigi Trillo now calling the shots for the Bolts, who are looking to build on the big year of Asian Games champion Chris Newsome. INQ

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