Tyrus HIll showed what NLEX missed out on as he provided the surprise spark in Converge’s skid-snapping 112-106 victory over the Road Warriors in the 2022 PBA Philippine Cup, Thursday evening at the SMART Araneta Coliseum.
Picked seventh overall by the MVP club before being traded to the FiberXers mere days after the proceedings, the La Salle product finished with a conference-high 18 points on an 8-of-9 clip from the field with seven rebounds.
Seven of his points came in the final period, including a two-handed alley-oop jam to conclude a 13-3 run for the 90-79 lead with 8:12 remaining, taking the driver’s seat for good after losing a 12-point advantage in the previous quarter.
“What’s nice about our team now is we really did get more athletic that’s really nice and fun to watch,” offered head coach Jeff Cariaso as Converge’s youth and athleticism were indeed a factor in ending a two-game slide.
Former Road Warrior David Murrell showed up as well, leading the way with 21 points on 71.4-percent shooting from the field. He made 13 of his offensive output in the first half, helping his side quickly overcome a 7-0 deficit at the start.
“I wouldn’t say it was revenge, but for sure, extra motivation,” said the Fil-Am guard, who was traded by NLEX to Converge alongside Hill in exchange for a future first-round pick. “I felt like I was locked in from the start.”
Taylor Browne provided significantly in the win with 15 points, which all came from three-point range. Justin Arana made 11 points and five rebounds, while Maverick Ahanmisi chipped in 10 as five FiberXers finished in double figures.
“This is the last stretch of the eliminations and at this point, regardless of our record, we still control our destiny. The guys came out focused and I want to attribute that to the focus and energy they brought to practice,” Cariaso said.
Converge wasted the career-high outing of Kris Rosales, who powered NLEX with 29 points built on seven three-pointers.
Kevin Alas made 23 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists in the defeat, which is now their second straight and dropped their card to 4-4. Don Trollano and Justin Chua produced 18 and 15 markers, respectively.
Converge 112 – Murrell 21, Hill 18, Browne 15, Arana 11, Ahanmisi 10, Adamos 9, Tratter 8, Ambohot 7, Bulanadi 4, DiGregorio 3, Racal 3, Ilagan 3, Tolomia 0, Stockton 0.
NLEX 108 – Rosales 29, Alas 23, Trollano 18, Chua 15, Oftana 12, Quinahan 4,Paniamogan 3, Fonacier 2, Magat 2, Semerad 0, Soyud 0, Ighalo 0.
Quarterscores: 19-15, 46-38, 77-76, 112-108
The second game of each PBA gameday is live-streamed on SMART Sports.