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Tiebreaker Times


PBA: Converge ushers ‘Mayhem’ era with statement win over Terrafirma

Aldin Ayo started his PBA head coaching career the way he hoped for as Converge opened its 2022 Commissioner’s Cup campaign with a resounding 124-110 beatdown of Terrafirma, Friday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig.

The FiberXers pulled off a 22-6 run for an 89-73 lead late in the third canto and never looked back, giving their new chief mentor a winning debut as the ball club turns a new page after spending a conference under Jeff Cariaso.

“First games have always been the hardest,” said Ayo, whose side’s 14-point triumph is the biggest winning margin for a debuting head coach since Topex Robinson led Phoenix to a 116-98 victory over Meralco in the Clark bubble.

“You don’t have any idea what to expect. For us, it’s just stepping on the pedal and [going] full speed ahead. We just have to keep on running, ’cause that’s our game,” added the decorated college mentor.

A total of seven players finished in double figures in the victory, with Quincy Miller leading the way with 38 points and 16 rebounds. The American import also collected five assists, three blocks, and a steal in 39 minutes.

“Honestly, Coach Aldin has been preparing me every day,” said the former NBA cager. “Every day, he’s giving me different types of advice.”

“Even during the game, he’s been telling me to continue on because, in the first half, I kinda started out shaky. But he told me to continue on, and my teammates had faith in me,” he furthered.

Maverick Ahanmisi had 18 points and seven assists. Justin Arana made 13 points and seven rebounds, RK Ilagan had 12 points, Jeron Teng and Alec Stockton had 11 apiece, while Aljun Melecio chimed in 10 markers.

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“This game, we started flat, especially in the first quarter. We were getting our shots, but we just were not making those shots. But I told them that those were good shots, so they just had to keep on shooting,” said Ayo.

Converge had the best bench support in the 2022 Philippine Cup with 52.4 points a game, and that trend continued as the reserves contributed a total of 56 markers leading to a season-high scoring output for the new club.

The FiberXers will next face perennial contenders Barangay Ginebra on Sunday, 6:45 p.m., at the Mall of Asia Arena in what will be a big test for Ayo.

“It will be a tough game for us. And if you’re going to coach against the winningest coach, legendary, it will be a tough one,” said Ayo. “And aside from having the best coach, I think they have a stacked team also.”

Terrafirma, meanwhile, absorbed its 17th consecutive defeat, which is already the all-time longest losing skid in franchise history.

The loss, furthermore, wasted the efforts of Lester Prosper, who finished with monster numbers of 43 points and 25 rebounds.

The Dyip will try to end their struggles that date back to the 2022 Governors’ Cup against Magnolia on Wednesday, September 28, 3:00 p.m. also at MoA.

The Scores:

Converge (124) — Miller 38, Ahanmisi 18, Arana 13, Ilagan 12, Stocton 11, Teng 11, Melecio 10, Bulanadi 4, Racal 3, Tratter 2, Digregorio 2.

Terrafirma (110) –– Prosper 43, Munzon 14, Tiongson 13, Cabagnot 12, Cahilig 7, Gomez de Liano 7, Calvo 5, Camson 4, Alolino 2, Ramos 2.

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Quarterscores: 26-30, 62-62, 93-79, 124-110.

The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

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