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Converge worries Cone

Games today:
(Philsports Arena)
4:30 p.m. — Meralco vs Phoenix
6:45 pm — Converge vs Ginebra

Barangay Ginebra and Converge continue their pursuit of a possible twice-to-beat bonus as they clash in the main game of the Philippine Basketball Association Governors’ Cup at the Philsports Arena on Sunday.

The Gin Kings had put together a three-game winning run, this despite missing the services of 6-foot-9 athletic forward Japeth Aguilar, who is still recovering from a knee injury.

Barangay Ginebra, which now carries a 6-2 win-loss record seeks to join idle San Miguel Beer in a share of second spot when it takes on Converge in the main game of the scheduled double header at 6:45 p.m.

Meralco and Phoenix square off in a similarly important game at 4:30 p.m.

But while the Gin Kings appear to be on a roll, the FiberXers are coming off two tough losses against crack teams NLEX and Meralco.

Despite the defeat, the FiberXers are still very much in the running for a potential top four berth.

The top four teams at the end of the elimination round will get a twice-to-beat advantage against the lower seeded teams in the quarterfinal round.

Losing back-to-back is tough for the FiberXers, who have slipped to sixth spot at 6-4, tied with Meralco, which just nights ago dealt Converge a heartbreaking 132-129 setback.

This makes Converge an even more dangerous team, according to Barangay Ginebra coach Tim Cone.

“When the team lost back-to-back, it gave them that sense of urgency and we’ve seen Converge able to compete and pull off wins even against the contenders in the league,” Cone said.

“That makes them even more dangerous, especially their import, who had another spectacular game.”

Cone was referring to Jamaal Franklin, who for the second time this conference, had a 50-plus output in a game.

Against Meralco, Franklin had a staggering stats line of 57 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists and his point-production was the highest output for a player who completed a triple-double performance in the PBA.

But Franklin wasn’t the only one setting milestones.

Barangay Ginebra’s Christian Standhardinger had yet another productive evening for the Gin Kings, even playing like an import for his squad in their 109-89 beatdown of Phoenix.

Against the Fuel Masters, Standhardinger had 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists as he became the third local player this conference to score 20-plus points in four straight games.

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