PBA Governors' Cup

Clark erupts for 40 as San Miguel sends Converge packing to reach semis

Delfin Dioquino
Clark erupts for 40 as San Miguel sends Converge packing to reach semis

BEAST. Cameron Clark tows San Miguel to the semifinals of the 2023 PBA Governors' Cup.

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(1st UPDATE) Cameron Clark reaches the 40-point mark for the second time in three games as win-once San Miguel makes quick work of Converge

MANILA, Philippines – San Miguel barged into the semifinals of the PBA Governors’ Cup behind another scoring explosion from Cameron Clark in a 121-105 whipping of Converge at the Araneta Coliseum on Sunday, March 19.

Clark posted 40 points and 13 rebounds for the Beermen, who capitalized on the win-once bonus they gained for finishing as the second seed to send a FiberXers side that paraded a new import packing.

Reaching the 40-point mark for the second time in three games, Clark took over in the third quarter as San Miguel put to waste an impressive 39-point outing from debuting Converge reinforcement Tom Vodanovich.

Vodanovich, who came in as a replacement for banished import Jamaal Franklin, waxed hot for 23 points in the first half to give the FiberXers a slim 58-57 edge at halftime.

But San Miguel turned the tide in the third quarter thanks to Clark, who scattered 16 points in the period as the Beermen grabbed a 94-82 lead going into the final salvo en route to the 16-point triumph.

“Cameron has always been great. You know what is the best part about Cam? He is improving every game, which is good for us,” said San Miguel head coach Jorge Gallent.

CJ Perez backstopped Clark in scoring with 26 points on top of 12 rebounds, 5 assists, and 5 steals, while Vic Manuel put up 20 points on perfect 9-of-9 shooting.

Jericho Cruz added 12 points off the bench and Mo Tautuaa chimed in 8 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists for the Beermen, who will face the winner between Barangay Ginebra and NLEX in the final four.

Converge trailed by as many as 12 points in the second quarter, 29-41, before Vodanovich hit his stride from deep, draining three triples in a blazing 25-9 run that propped up a 54-49 lead for his side.

But the FiberXers came apart in the third quarter, where they were outscored 37-24, resulting in a second straight quarterfinals exit after also bowing to San Miguel last conference.

Maverick Ahanmisi turned in 18 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 assists for Converge, which concluded the tournament on a four-game skid, a disappointing ending following a once-promising run with Franklin.

A replacement for Ethan Rusbatch, Franklin led the FiberXers to five wins in his first seven games, but Converge gave him the boot after he uncharacteristically refused to shoot in their elimination-round-ending loss to Barangay Ginebra.

FiberXers big man Justin Arana concluded his rookie season with 14 points and 6 rebounds.

The Scores

San Miguel 121 – Clark 40, Perez 26, Manuel 20, Cruz 12, Tautuaa 8, Lassiter 7, Enciso 6, Ross 2, Brondial 0, Bulanadi 0.

Converge 105 – Vodanovich 39, Ahanmisi 18, Arana 14, Stockton 12, Melecio 11, Teng 7, Balanza 4, Murrell 0, Tratter 0, Ebona 0, Tolomia 0, Racal 0.

Quarters: 34-27, 57-58, 94-82, 121-105.

– 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.