PBA: Converge FiberXers hold it together for a change

PBA: Converge FiberXers hold it together for a change

/ 04:10 AM April 22, 2024

Bryan Santos Converge FiberXers PBA

Converge FiberXers’ Bryan Santos in the PBA Philippine Cup.–PBA IMAGES

Now that the misery of a string of defeats dating back to the previous conference is finally done and dusted, Converge can now give itself the belief of producing a strong finish to a miserable PBA season.

“We’re going to do our best to compete,” coach Aldin Ayo said after the FiberXers stunned the playoff-chasing Meralco Bolts, 104-99, on Sunday at PhilSports Arena in Pasig City to finally put one on the win column of the PBA Philippine Cup.

It was Converge’s first victory after starting the conference at 0-8 and losing a total of 12 in a row dating back to the PBA Commissioner’s Cup.


READ: PBA: Converge notches first win, clips Meralco

Unbeaten San Miguel Beer officially clinched a spot in the quarterfinals after blowing past NorthPort, 120-100, in the nightcap.

The Beermen improved to 7-0 for top spot while handing the fourth straight setback to the Batang Pier, who are now tied for seventh with the Terrafirma Dyip at 4-5.

CJ Perez led the Beermen with 29 points, nine rebounds and six assists and San Miguel showed its remarkable depth by having three players off the bench shoot 10 or more.


Arvin Tolentino, who has turned out to be the face of the NorthPort crew since the departure of Robert Bolick to NLEX, led the Batang Pier with 26 points and nine rebounds.

A rookie delivers

Terrific shooting from rookie Bryan Santos, drafted in the second round out of University of Santo Tomas, who finished with 22, plus another strong play from star center Justin Arana allowed the FiberXers to put a dent on the Bolts’ bid to get into the quarterfinals.


And Converge has plans to do the same on its final two formidable opponents, namely Barangay Ginebra and TNT.

READ: PBA: Alec Stockton is ‘heart and soul’ of Converge, says Gallent

Converge travels to Cagayan de Oro City for Saturday’s meeting with Ginebra, currently sitting at third with a 6-3 record. And while Ayo has plans to use the rest of the campaign to give other players a chance, he also wants his team to give the fancied Gin Kings a strong challenge.

The season concludes on May 1 against TNT at PhilSports.

“We’re gonna try to do our best to compete, enjoy the game, loosen up and tell our shooters to be unconscious,” said Ayo.

It was Converge’s first win since defeating Terrafirma, 103-94, on Dec. 13 at the same venue, which turned out to be the only time the FiberXers were triumphant in the import-flavored first conference.

The skid extended into this all-Filipino tournament, most of which ended in lopsided fashion, including the outcome of Friday’s match with San Miguel Beer.

But Converge showed glimpses that it could finally end the spell, taking a halftime lead before allowing San Miguel to erupt for 51 points in the third.

“That first half against San Miguel, that’s our system, that’s our basketball program,” said Ayo.

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Meralco dropped to 3-5 for a share of ninth to 11th places with Phoenix and Blackwater. INQ

TAGS: Converge FiberXers, PBA Philippine Cup

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