Sep 23, 2022

Converge gives new coach rousing debut with rout of Terrafirma

CONVERGE gave new coach Aldin Ayo the rousing pro league debut he wanted with a resounding 124-110 thumping of Terrafirma Friday in the PBA Commissioner's Cup at the PhilSports Arena.

A big 22-6 assault in the third quarter gave the FiberXers an 89-73 spread which they even stretched to a couple of 18-point bulges in the fourth period that completely put the hapless Dyip behind them.

As a result, Ayo notched his first win since taking over the Converge helm from Jeffrey Cariaso and put the team on track to bettering its seventh-place finish in the last Philippine Cup.

Still, Ayo was not completely satisfied with the win, which is the biggest notched by a debuting coach since Topex Robinson's Phoenix side drubbed Meralco by 18 in the 2020 Philippine Cup bubble at Clark.

"This game we started flat, especially in the first quarter. We were getting our shots, but it's just that we were not making those shots," said the coach who made his mark in the collegiate ranks. "But I told them that those were good shots and to keep on shooting."

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One thing that surely pleased Ayo is the fact his team lived up to its pre-conference vow of using a fast-paced game to wear down its opponents.

"For us, it's just step on the pedal and full speed ahead," stated Ayo. "We just have to keep on running because that's our game."

Obviously, Converge's up-tempo game did take its toll on Terrafirma, particularly import Lester Prosper, who had a game-high 43 points on top of 25 rebounds but scored only 17 points in the second half.

The former naturalized player for Indonesia also failed to get the much-needed support from his local teammates as the Dyip absorbed their franchise-worst 17th straight loss dating back to last year's Governors Cup that put them at joint third overall in league records.

In contrast, Quincy Miller wound up with 38 points and 16 rebounds to lead Converge with Maverick Ahanmisi adding 18 markers along with seven assists, Justin Arana, RK Ilagan, Alec Stockton and Aljun Melecio adding at least 10 points each.
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Even the returning Jeron Teng, seeing action for the first time since being limited to just four games by a hip injury in the Philippine Cup, chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

Terrafirma had its own returning player in Alex Cabagnot, who was sidelined for more than seven months by a torn Achilles tendon. He finished with 13 points and a game-high eight assists, but was among the Dyip who were practically helpless when Ahanmisi and Stockton led the FiberXers' charge from the ninth and last deadlock at 67-all. (NC)

The Scores:

Converge 124 - Miller 38, Ahamisi 18, Arana 13, Ilagan 12, Teng 11, Stockton 11, Melecio 10, Bulanadi 4, Racal 3, Tratter 2, DiGregorio 2, Ambohot 0.

Terrafirma 110 - Prosper 43, Munzon 14, Tiongson 13, Cabagnot 13, Cahilig 7, Gomez de Liano 7, Calvo 5, Camson 4, Ramos 2, Alolino 2, Javelona 0, Gabayni 0, Mina 0.

Quarters: 26-30, 62-62, 93-79, 124-110