Nov 19, 2022

Converge looks to stretch win streak to eight games against NorthPort

CONVERGE, the league's hottest team in the PBA Commissioner's Cup, looks to keep on going as it faces dangerous NorthPort Sunday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

The FiberXers have hurdled their last seven assignments en route to a quarterfinal-guaranteed 8-2 card, which put them well in position to contend for the Top 2 and twice-to-beat incentive.

"We're not going to stop (with just making the Last-8). We're going to continue building, continue improving and being competitive," said Converge coach Aldin Ayo, who has molded his youth-laden crew into a fighting unit that can go toe-to-toe with league powerhouses.

A win in the 4:30 p.m. matchup against the fifth-running Batang Pier (5-5) not only extends the FiberXers' streak but also gives them good momentum ahead of their confrontation with Barangay Ginebra in their elims windup on Nov. 30.

But Ayo maintained they're not looking past NorthPort, which is on a two-game roll.

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"We're focused on NorthPort. That team is dangerous," said Ayo. "Coach Pido (Jarencio), the veteran that he is, Berto (Bolick as leader), they have a stacked team also. All positions, they have good players."

The Batang Pier are driven to enter the playoffs after a roller-coaster campaign.

"Inspired yung mga players to be in the playoffs. May chance kami kaya lang, mabigat ang kalaban - Converge at Ginebra. Converge ang next kaya yung mga players, nagpa-practice ng track and field kasi puro takbuhan yun, kailangang makasabay kami sa takbuhan," said Jarencio.

The two protagonists came off what a not-so-pretty victory in their last assignments. Converge needed a big fourth-quarter rally to escape past Rain or Shine 102-101, while NorthPort shook off a shaky first half before fending off Terrafirma, 87-83. (OL)