PBA Commissioner’s Cup

Ahanmisi, Converge fend off Meralco despite wasting 22-point lead

Delfin Dioquino
Ahanmisi, Converge fend off Meralco despite wasting 22-point lead

SKID SNAPPED. Maverick Ahanmisi and Converge get back on track with a gutsy win over Meralco.

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Maverick Ahanmisi delivers in the fourth quarter as Converge gives head coach Aldin Ayo a fitting gift on his 45th birthday

MANILA, Philippines – Converge wasted a huge lead but banked on Maverick Ahanmisi late to eke out a 106-99 win over Meralco in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, October 15.

Ahanmisi scattered 12 of his 21 points in the final period and knocked down the triple that kept the Bolts at bay as the FiberXers held on to their second victory despite squandering a 22-point advantage.

Quincy Miller also delivered in the win with 29 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks as he came up clutch in the last two minutes after sitting out a crucial stretch due to a flagrant foul.

The former NBA player got sidelined for three minutes, but immediately made an impact upon his return by completing the and-one play that gave Converge a 99-97 lead with 1:40 minutes left.

Ahanmisi then padded their lead to 5 points with a corner trey as the FiberXers gave head coach Aldin Ayo a fitting present on his 45th birthday.

“The way we won today, it showed our character. We lost the 20-point lead, but we recovered,” said Ayo.

A blowout appeared to be brewing after Converge grabbed a 68-48 lead at halftime before Meralco stormed back behind a gritty third-quarter display anchored on import Johnny O’Bryant.

Limited to just 5 points in the first two quarters after being saddled by four fouls, O’Bryant unloaded 15 points in the third period as the Bolts cut their deficit to 82-87 going into the final canto.

A pair of O’Bryant free throws then gave Meralco a 93-90 edge in the fourth quarter, but Ahanmisi kept the FiberXers afloat with a pair of triples and Miller came through with the go-ahead three-point play.

O’Bryant finished with 27 points, 15 rebounds, and 3 assists in the loss, which marked the Bolts’ third in four games.

Allyn Bulanadi fired 12 points, all coming in the first half, Jeron Teng chimed in 11 points and 5 rebounds, while RK Ilagan added 10 points for Converge, which snapped a two-game skid to improve to 2-2.

Meralco guard Aaron Black put up 18 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists in the loss.

The Scores

Converge 106 – Miller 29, Ahanmisi 21, Bulanadi 12, Teng 11, Ilagan 10, Tratter 9, Melecio 8, Stockton 4, Racal 2, Ambohot 0.

Meralco 99 – O’Bryant 27, Black 18, Maliksi 14, Caram 14, Quinto 12, Hodge 10, Pasaol 4, Johnson 0, Almazan 0, Jose 0, Pascual 0.

Quarters: 35-26, 68-48, 87-82, 106-99

– Rappler.com

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.