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PBA: Melecio resets career-high as Miller-less Converge blows past NLEX

ANTIPOLO – Converge bucked Quincy Miller’s early ejection by compounding on NLEX’s struggles, 108-84, to collect its fifth consecutive win in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup, Saturday night at the Ynares Center here.

The FiberXers got reduced to an all-Filipino crew when the American, already with a technical foul prior, got assessed with an F1 infraction following a landing spot foul on Brandon Rosser with 1:18 left in the second period.

But the youth-laden crew managed to pull through, with Aljun Melecio, Alec Stockton, and Abu Tratter joining hands for the 16-6 run that put the game away after allowing the Road Warriors to come within 10, 80-70, with 9:10 left to play.

“I just told the players to rely on the system, especially since our main man was out,” said head coach Aldin Ayo. “I just told them to keep on executing, and we have to be consistent on defense.”

Melecio scored 10 in that said run and went on to reset his career-high with 24 points on a 5-of-7 clip from beyond the arc, on top of five rebounds and six assists to power Converge, who now improved to 6-2.

“Mas loose ako ngayon with the way I play. I know that kahit magkamali ako, may tiwala pa rin ‘yung coach sa akin,” said the gunslinger out of La Salle.

Miller, despite the ejection, still ended up as the second-best scorer of the FiberXers with 15 points and nine rebounds. Jeron Teng made 14 points and five boards, while rookie Justin Arana had 12 markers and six caroms.

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Converge faces Phoenix on Wednesday, November 9, 3 p.m. at SMART Araneta Coliseum in a matchup that pits the league’s hottest teams against one another — the Fuel Masters are in the midst of a five-game winning streak as well.

“It will be an interesting ball game,” Ayo offered. “But at the end of the day, it will boil down to preparations and executions.”

Rosser, meanwhile, led NLEX with a career-high 24 points and nine rebounds in the loss — already its fourth in seven games to go down to eighth in the standings.

Earl Clark was limited to just 15 points and nine boards. Philip Paniamogan scored 15 as well, while Kevin Alas had 14 markers and six boards.

The Road Warriors will take on the struggling NorthPort in a bid to end their two-game slide on Wednesday as well at 5:45 p.m.

The Scores:

Converge 108 – Melecio 24, Miller 15, Teng 14, Arana 12, Tratter 9, Stockton 8, Ambohot 7, Ahanmisi 6, Ilagan 5, Murrell 3, DiGregorio 3, Racal 2.

NLEX 84 – Ganuelas-Rosser 24, Clark 15, Paniamogan 15, Alas 14, Rosales 8, Nieto 8, Chua 0, Miranda 0, Fonacier 0.

Quarterscores: 34-17, 58-41, 80-60, 108-84.

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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