PBA Governors' Cup

Converge shows resolve, busts unbeaten San Miguel start in thriller

Delfin Dioquino

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Converge shows resolve, busts unbeaten San Miguel start in thriller

UTILITY IMPORT. Jamaal Franklin flirts with a triple-double for Converge.

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Converge gets back on track and deals San Miguel its first loss of the conference after a sensational 5-0 start

MANILA, Philippines – Converge doused cold water on San Miguel and its red-hot start after hacking out a 107-103 win in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena on Saturday, February 11.

Jamaal Franklin flirted with a triple-double and locals Maverick Ahanmisi and Justin Arana came up with pivotal plays late as the FiberXers dealt the Beermen their first loss of the conference after five victories in a row.

Franklin finished with 37 points, 9 rebounds, and 7 assists, capping his performance with a nifty dribble move and a tough layup that gave Converge a 104-101 lead with under a minute left.

Rookie big man Arana then stretched that lead to 106-101 with a pair of free throws and swatted away a Vic Manuel layup in the next possession.

Although Manuel grabbed the offensive rebound after the Arana block and fished a foul, he missed both of his free throws for San Miguel as the FiberXers held on for their fifth win in six games.

“That is a team win. I could not do that sh*t all by myself,” said Franklin. “We were the best team today, but San Miguel is one hell of a team.”

Arana posted 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks, while Ahanmisi churned out 15 points and 6 rebounds, including a three-pointer with 1:40 minutes left that concluded a 16-7 rally for a 102-98 advantage.

The Beermen severely missed the endgame presence of June Mar Fajardo, who fouled out for the first time in nearly four years as he exited the game with three minutes remaining.

Fajardo tallied 7 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks in 31 minutes of action.

Without MVP frontrunner Fajardo, San Miguel banked on another MVP contender in CJ Perez as he paced the Beermen locals with 28 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Perez scored 10 straight points inside the final 10 minutes, including the and-one play that pulled San Miguel within a whisker at 101-102.

But Perez and the Beermen ran out of steam and saw Converge wrap it up with a 5-2 finishing kick.

Alec Stockton chimed in 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists in the win, while Jerrick Balanza added 11 points for the FiberXers, who forged a three-way tie at second place with the Beermen and TNT.

Import Cameron Clark showed the way for San Miguel with 30 points and 12 rebounds.

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.

– 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.