PBA: Pat Maagdenberg, Aldin Ayo recall collegiate war

Pat Maagdenberg, Aldin Ayo recall collegiate war before PBA partnership

/ 09:15 PM May 02, 2024

Converge FiberXers' Patrick Maagdenberg in the PBA Philippine Cup game against TNT

Converge FiberXers’ Patrick Maagdenberg in the PBA Philippine Cup game against TNT. –PBA IMAGES

MANILA, Philippines—Converge coach Aldin Ayo admitted that he didn’t give Pat Maagdenberg much thought during his collegiate days in Ateneo.

But a lot can change in only a few years.

In this case, Maagdenberg, who once gave former University of Santo Tomas coach Ayo hell in the collegiate level, helped that same mentor trounce TNT in the PBA Philippine Cup at Philsports Arena on Wednesday.

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Maagdenberg dropped 12 points and two rebounds in the FiberXers’ final game of the all-Filipino conference as they denied the Tropang Giga an immediate playoff berth.

READ: PBA: Converge upsets playoffs-chasing TNT

Well, Ayo did give Maagdenberg his flowers.

“Although he played well against us, especially in Game 2 of the 2019 Finals, I told him, ‘well, Sherwin (Concepcion) was guarding you.’ During the time Sherwin hasn’t even gotten his defense yet,” said Ayo in jest after their 107-103 victory.

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“But I know he’s a smart player coming from a good program. He has the pedigree. He’s easy to coach because he was part of that good system.”

Back in 2019, before Converge even existed in the PBA, Ayo was the head coach of the Growling Tigers while Maagdenberg was a member of the mighty Blue Eagles of Loyola Heights.

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

Ayo steered a squad of nine rookies in España while developing talents like Rhenz Abando, Mark Nonoy, CJ Cansino and Soulemane Chabi-Yo, to name a few.

Maagdenberg, meanwhile, was part of an almost-invincible squad under coach Tab Baldwin that also featured stars Thirdy Ravena and Ange Kouame.

When they clashed in the Finals of Season 82, Ayo wasn’t able to get one up over Maagdenberg as Ateneo swept the men’s basketball tournament to capture their 11th men’s basketball title.

As destiny would have it, Ayo and Maagdenberg would meet again on the big stage–this time under the same camp.

And because of the unexpected partnership, Maagdenberg saw himself improving under the bright lights with the guidance of Ayo, whom he once faced in the collegiate ranks.

“At the start of the season, my confidence wasn’t as high as it is now but going through the season, picking up my scoring, rebounding and contributing more to the team have really boosted my confidence and self-esteem to play when I’m out there,” said the Ateneo product.

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At the end of an abysmal conference, Maagdenberg, Ayo and the FiberXers finished with a 2-9 record.

TAGS: Converge FiberXers, PBA Philippine Cup, UST Growling Tigers

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