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Converge hands SMB 1st loss, forges share of lead

Three days after absorbing its first loss in the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup, Converge vented its ire on San Miguel Beer and handed the storied franchise its only defeat in the tournament.

The FiberXers clamped down on six-time Most Valuable Player June Mar Fajardo and did a great job attacking the league’s most dominant force until he fouled out with more than two minutes left to complete a hard-earned 107-103 victory Saturday night at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Fajardo was limited to only seven points as the FiberXers slowed down his production.
Offensively, Converge unveiled its usual fast pace game and, surprisingly, its bench players showed up more prepared to outscore their counterparts, 42-28.

Following the FiberXers’ latest win, the up-and-coming squad has now forged a three-way tie for the lead with its victim and TNT, which earlier booked its fifth win in six games after whipping Terrafirma, 131-109.

“San Miguel is the best team in the league, but we were a better team tonight,” said Converge import Jamaal Franklin, who dropped in 37 points and pulled down nine boards.
Converge coach Aldin Ayo paid tribute to the team’s excellent defense on Fajardo, which was the biggest reason for the victory.
“We want to take June Mar out of the game right away. I told the boys to just get the pace that we want and make June Mar a liability on defense. He’s probably the best player in terms of offense, but he had his lapses as well and everybody knows it,” said Ayo. “We want to exploit that.”

The Scores:
CONVERGE 107 – Franklin 37, Ahanmisi 15, Stockton 14, Balanza 11, Arana 9, Ebona 8, Tratter 6, Teng 5, Guinto 2, Racal 0, Murrell 0
SAN MIGUEL 103 – Clark 30, Perez 28, Cruz 14, Lassiter 8, Fajardo 7, Tautuaa 4, Bulanadi 3, Ross 3, Manuel 2, Brondial 2, Enciso 2
QUARTERS: 29-23, 50-49, 81-76, 107-103

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