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PBA: Mike Nieto powers Converge to 37-point rout of Terrafirma

Converge pulled away in the second quarter and left Terrafirma in the dust, 119-82, to open its PBA On Tour campaign on a high note, Friday evening at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig.

The FiberXers erupted for 35 big points in the said period to head into the halftime break with a 57-40 lead, and they would never lose hold of the driver’s seat since on the way to a victorious start to the preseason tournament.

“We’re still in the process of building up,” said head coach Aldin Ayo. “Maganda naman ‘yung naging response ng mga players.”

All 10 players fielded scored at least five points in the rout, five of which finished in double figures led by the 24 points and 12 rebounds of Justin Arana.

Jerrick Balanza delivered 21 points on four triples. New guy Mike Nieto brought immediate impact with 12 points and 11 rebounds, while Jeo Ambohot came through with his own double-double with 11 markers and 11 boards.

Balanza and Ambohot were key in Converge’s 12-2 run that turned a slim four-point lead to 36-22 in the second period, kick-starting the romp.

The lead grew to as big as 41 points, 116-75, following a triple from the top of the key by Bradwyn Gunito with under two minutes left to play.

Jeron Teng supplied 12 points, six rebounds, and four assists while another new addition in Adrian Wong added 11 in the dominant conquest, which they pulled off despite missing the services of the now-free agent Maverick Ahanmisi.

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The FiberXers will look to make it two in a row against the Magnolia Hotshots on May 31, Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. in the same venue.

Juami Tiongson, meanwhile, had 17 points to lead Terrafirma in the loss. Kevin Ferrer and Ed Daquioag backed him with 12 and 11 markers, respectively.

Playing with basically the same roster from last season minus Joseph Gabayni, the Dyip actually led by three late in the opening period until Barkley Ebona sparked a 7-0 run to give Converge a 22-18 lead to end the chapter.

Momentum would swing on the FiberXers’ side from that point on and Coach Johnedel Cardel’s wards just could not respond.

The Dyip are now keen on picking themselves up as they go up against Blackwater (1-0) also on Wednesday at 5 p.m.

The Scores:

Converge 119 – Arana 24, Balanza 24, Nieto 12, Teng 12, Ambohot 11, Wong 11, Racal 8, Ebona 7, Stockton 5, Guinto 5.

Terrafirma 82 – Tiongson 17, Ferrer 12, Daquioag 11, Alolino 8, Go 7, Cahilig 5, Taladua 5, Alanes 5, Camson 4, Gomez de Liano 4, Calvo 2, Ramos 2, Grospe 0, Mina 0.

Quarterscores: 22-18, 57-40, 85-58, 119-82

Written By

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

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