PBA: Already struggling, Converge run into streaking San Miguel
PHILIPPINE CUP

PBA: Already struggling, Converge run into streaking San Miguel

/ 05:10 AM April 19, 2024

Jason Perkins Phoenix PBA

Phoenix forward Jason Perkins during a game againts Converge.–PBA IMAGES

The string of losses can frustrate even a calm and collected player like Justin Arana, the lone bright spot in a miserable season for the Converge FiberXers.

“I just want to win,” Arana said in Filipino, a week after his patience was tested in a loss to the Phoenix Fuel Masters that brought the FiberXers to 0-7 in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) Philippine Cup.

Their bid to snap out of their miseries will only get tougher Friday as the winless side faces the unbeaten San Miguel Beermen in a 4:30 p.m. meeting of teams with different circumstances at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City.

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Barangay Ginebra, playing its first game since announcing that Jamie Malonzo will miss six to eight weeks with a calf injury following a freak incident in the final seconds of the team’s previous outing, faces TNT in a marquee battle at 7:30 p.m.

Huge favorite

San Miguel is a huge favorite to get its sixth win in as many outings and virtually secure its place in the quarterfinals.

And even if the Beermen were to suffer a rare hiccup, the FiberXers will still need a near-perfect performance to arrest an 11-game skid that goes back to the import-flavored Commissioner’s Cup.

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READ: PBA: Phoenix turns back Converge for second win

Converge has won just once in Season 48. The team is on pace to equal what Blackwater endured in the pandemic-shortened 2021-2022 season that also had only two conferences. At the end of that season, the Bossing drew the top overall pick in the Rookie Draft, something the FiberXers could at least look forward to, barring any late surge.

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The previous Friday saw Converge absorb a 113-107 loss to the Phoenix Fuel Masters, with Arana getting slapped with a technical foul for arguing at what he thought was a non-call by one of the officials.

It’s a rare case of frustration from Arana, who is averaging 21.4 points, 8.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.1 blocks this conference.

“It’s really frustrating,” Arana admitted. “All of us want to win, but this conference is not really for us.”

But another game means another chance for the FiberXers, even if the remaining schedule has them at a disadvantage in terms of at least averting a winless conference, which is not a rarity in the league’s recent tournaments.

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Blackwater went 0-11 in the 2021 Philippine Cup while Terrafirma also had the same record in the 2022 Philippine Cup.

TAGS: Converge FiberXers, PBA Philippine Cup, Phoenix Fuel Masters

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