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Converge stays unbeaten, nips Magnolia

Converge continued its onslaught on the offensive end as it pulled off a thrilling 111-109 victory over Magnolia in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup on Sunday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City.

The FiberXers — the league’s most explosive team — displayed their potent arsenal while doing a great job in taking away the Hotshots’ source of energy to clinch the win and stay unbeaten after three matches in the season-ending conference.

Abueva fouled out, prompting him to leave the game with still more than nine minutes left.

But even without Abueva, the FiberXers repulsed a big fightback from the Hotshots.

Converge import Jamaal Franklin stepped up in the crucial stretch, hitting his team’s last five points, including a tough three-pointer against the defense of Rome Dela Rosa in the final 1:04, to create a separation and seal the victory.

Franklin finished with 26 points and 13 rebounds but it was the FiberXers balanced production that proved to be the biggest factor in the victory.

Mav Ahanmisi had another productive performance with 22 points and five rebounds while Aleck Stockton, Aljun Melecio, and Jeron Teng chipped in significant numbers.

Averaging only six points per game, the defensive-minded Stockton flourished on the offensive end this time as he tallied 18 points while Melecio, back in action after nursing a sprained ankle injury, added 14 and Teng contributed 11 for Converge, which scored at least 111 points in all its three games so far this conference.

Prior to Sunday’s game, the FiberXers were averaging 126 points.

For head coach Aldin Ayo, the early preparation for the Governors’ Cup had somehow prepared them for moments such as this one.

“We don’t have an idea how they play with their import. We just relied on our fluidity which was a product of the early preparations we did this conference,” Ayo said.

Import Erik McCree delivered 38 points and 16 rebounds while Paul Lee had 21 markers for Magnolia, which kicked off its campaign on a sour note.

 

The Scores:

CONVERGE 111– Franklin 26, Ahanmisi 22, Stockton 18, Melecio 14, Teng 11, Arana 8, Balanza 6, Tratter 4, Ambohot 2, Racal 0, Murrell 0

MAGNOLIA 109 – McCree 38, Lee 21, Jalalon 13, Abueva 12, Escoto 7, Ahanmisi 5, Wong 4, Dela Rosa 3, Sangalang 2, Barroca 2, Dionisio 2, Corpuz 0

QUARTERS: 28-23, 50-47, 84-73, 111-109

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