Philippine basketball

Jolo Mendoza’s 26 lifts Converge past Phoenix; San Miguel crushes winless TNT 

Martin Mendoza

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Jolo Mendoza’s 26 lifts Converge past Phoenix; San Miguel crushes winless TNT 

STEP UP. Converge's Jolo Mendoza (right) protects the ball from Phoenix's Reden Celeda.


2023 PBA Draft aspirant Jolo Mendoza knocks down 7 three-pointers in Converge’s 14-point win over Phoenix, while undrafted guard Marvin Lee leads the way as San Miguel ends a five-game skid with a 37-point drubbing of TNT

MANILA, Philippines – Jolo Mendoza shot the lights out from beyond the arc to lead the Converge FiberXers to a 104-90 win over the Phoenix Fuel Masters in the PBA On Tour at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City on Friday, July 7.

The former Ateneo sharpshooting guard Mendoza, who has yet to enter the PBA Draft, reminded everyone what he is capable of as he erupted for 26 points on an impressive 7-of-12 clip from three-point land, together with 3 assists and 1 steal in over 31 minutes of action.

Prior to this contest, Mendoza only averaged 1.75 points in six minutes per outing for the FiberXers. 

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity because this is rare, this is the first time we ever had PBA On Tour, and players like me who haven’t been drafted have gotten the opportunity to play in this level of basketball,” said the 2023 PBA Draft aspirant Mendoza, who played sparingly for the Blue Eagles in his final season in the UAAP.

“I’m using this (PBA On Tour) as a stepping stone. I’m learning and I’m trying to see where else I can improve so I can get better moving forward,” he added.

Mendoza’s fellow former Blue Eagle Mike Nieto, likewise, came up big and continued his stellar showing for his new team Converge with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, and 2 steals.

Alec Stockton, meanwhile, flirted with a triple-double of 9 points, 10 rebounds, and 15 assists for the FiberXers, who missed the services of their top gunners Jeron Teng and Jerrick Balanza. 

After a tight battle in the first three quarters, where Phoenix only trailed by 4, 68-72, Converge stepped on the gas and opened the final period with a quick 11-5 blast to push its lead to twin digits, 83-73, with 8:37 to play.

A basket by Nieto at the 4:51 mark of the fourth frame extended the FiberXers’ cushion to its largest at 18 points, 94-76, which proved too much for the Fuel Masters to overcome in the endgame.

Sean Manganti topscored for Phoenix with 15 points, while Javee Mocon and Larry Muyang added 11 and 10, respectively.

Converge improved its record to 4-4, while Phoenix dropped to 3-5. 

In a matchup between two struggling teams, the San Miguel Beermen finally put an end to their five-game losing streak and kept the TNT Tropang Giga winless with a 111-74 blowout.

San Miguel rode on a balanced attack as three players breached the 20-point territory, with undrafted guard Marvin Lee leading the way with 22 markers built on five treys.

Allyn Bulanadi and Jericho Cruz dropped 20 points each, while Rodney Brondial delivered a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds in the wire-to-wire win that saw the Beermen lead by as many as 41 points in the fourth quarter, 102-61, off a triple by Lee. 

Jaydee Tungcab paced the undermanned TNT side – which only had eight players in its roster – with 30 points on 12-of-19 shooting, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, and 5 steals.

Carl Bryan Cruz backstopped Tungcab with 21 points and 8 rebounds. 

Despite the victory, San Miguel stayed at the second to the last spot of the standings with a 3-6 card, while TNT remained dead last at 0-6.

The Scores

First Game

Converge 104 – Mendoza 26, Nieto 20, Racal 12, Zaldivar 11, Arana 10, Stockton 9, Ambohot 9, Guinto 5, Ebona 2.

Phoenix 90 – Manganti 15, Mocon 11, Muyang 10, Tio 9, Garcia 9, Camacho 9, Lalata 8, Jazul 8, Celda 6, Rangel 3 Alejandro 2, Fetalvero 0, Atienza 0.

Quarters: 21-26, 49-45, 72-68, 104-90.

Second Game

San Miguel 111 – Lee 22, Bulanadi 20, Cruz 20, Brondial 17, Javelona 9, Faundo 6, Dela Cruz 6, Baclao 4, De Vera 3, Apacible 2, Lazarte 2.

TNT 74 – Tungcab 30, Cruz 21, Alfaro 8, Jopia 5, Varilla 4, Montalbo 4, Marcelo 2, Cuntapay 0.

Quarters: 29-23, 55-36, 83-56, 111-74. 


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