MANILA, Philippines – Jamaal Franklin got the last laugh against Jordan Williams after lifting Converge to a 130-115 comeback win over Terrafirma in the PBA Governors’ Cup at the PhilSports Arena on Thursday, January 26.
Williams topped the scoring duel between the two imports with 46 points, but Franklin claimed the victory behind his near triple-double performance as the FiberXers seized an early lead in the standings with a 2-0 record.
Living up to his billing as a former NBA player, Franklin chalked up 42 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists in his sensational PBA debut after coming in as a replacement for Ethan Rusbatch.
While Franklin did most of the heavy lifting, it was the locals who turned things around for Converge, with forward Jeron Teng and rookie big man Justin Arana taking charge in their third-quarter comeback.
The Dyip still led 75-68 early in the third period before Teng and Arana scored 8 and 7 points, respectively, in a pivotal 26-7 run that opened a 94-82 advantage for the FiberXers with under four minutes in the quarter.
Arana and Teng both finished with 15 points and 6 rebounds, Maverick Ahanmisi had 16 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 steals, Abu Tratter tallied 10 points and 9 rebounds, while Alec Stockton produced 10 points and 3 steals.
While Converge cruised in the fourth frame on the way to the 15-point rout, the win left much to be desired for head coach Aldin Ayo, especially after Williams put on a scoring clinic in the first half.
Also debuting in the PBA like Franklin, Williams erupted for 30 first-half points as Terrafirma entered the break with a 71-68 lead.
“It felt like an All-Star Game. We need to work on our defense,” Ayo said in a mix of Filipino and English. “Our objective is to improve on defense.”
Juami Tiongson backstopped Williams with 18 points on top of 4 rebounds and 4 steals in the loss that marked the third straight for the Dyip dating back to last conference.
Alex Cabagnot fired 11 points and new acquisition Kevin Ferrer added 10 points for Terrafirma.
Converge 130 – Franklin 42, Ahanmisi 16, Arana 15, Teng 15, Stockton 10, Browne 9, Racal 6, Balanza 4, Murrell 3, Tratter 3, Ambohot 0, Ebona 0, Tolomia 0.
Terrafirma 115 – Williams 46, Tiongson 18, Cabagnot 11, Ferrer 10, Ramos 10, Camcon 7, Cahilig 3, Gabayni 3, Mina 3, Gomez de Liano 2, Daquioag 0, Calvo 0.
Quarters: 36-33, 68-71, 100-92, 130-115.
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