PBA Philippine Cup

Ilagan clutch as Converge turns back Magnolia for breakthrough PBA win

Delfin Dioquino
Ilagan clutch as Converge turns back Magnolia for breakthrough PBA win

ICE IN HIS VEINS. RK Ilagan tows Converge past Magnolia with a pair of crucial buckets.

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RK Ilagan refuses to let Converge suffer another heartbreak as he drains two clutch triples in regulation and overtime

ANTIPOLO, Philippines – RK Ilagan saved the day as Converge picked up its first win in PBA history after a feisty 89-82 victory over Magnolia in the Philippine Cup at the Ynares Center here on Friday, June 10.

Ilagan forged an extra period with a clutch triple late in regulation and opened overtime with another booming trey to help the FiberXers complete their comeback from 20 points down for the breakthrough win.

Taking over the Alaska franchise at the end of last season, Converge fell short of a triumphant PBA debut when it absorbed a 77-79 loss to Rain or Shine last June 5.

But Ilagan – who finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals – refused to let his side suffer another heartbreak.

The sophomore guard knotted the score at 82-82 with a booming three-pointer with 3.6 ticks left in the fourth quarter and drained another long bomb as the FiberXers blanked the Hotshots in the extra period.

Maverick Ahanmisi then made it a five-point game off a floater, 87-82, and Justin Arana put the game out of reach by powering past Calvin Abueva down low.

Jeron Teng topscored for Converge with 19 point to go with 7 rebounds, while Ahanmisi came off the bench and produced 14 points, including a triple that leveled the game at 78-78 with under four minutes left in the fourth.

Magnolia led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter, 74-60, before Converge tied things up behind an 18-4 run anchored on 11 points from Ahanmisi, who also netted 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.

Arana posted 9 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists as he continues to impress in his rookie season and fellow big man Ben Adamos tallied 10 points and 5 rebounds in the win.

Ian Sangalang dominated inside with 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocks for the Hotshots, but he failed to finish the game after fouling out with under three minutes remaining in overtime.

With Sangalang exiting, Magnolia played without three of its usual starters down the stretch as Paul Lee sat out due to back spasms and Mark Barroca got sidelined since the start of the second quarter due to an injury.

Abueva had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 steals against a whopping 8 turnovers in the losing effort, while Jio Jalalon chalked up 13 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds, and 3 steals.

The Scores

Converge 89 – Teng 19, Ilagan 14, Ahanmisi 14, Adamos 10, Arana 9, DiGregorio 7, Tolomia 6, Murrell 4, Bulanadi 3, Racal 3, Browne 0, Hill 0, Ambohot 0, Stockton 0, Lojera 0.

Magnolia 82 – Sangalang 22, Jalalon 13, Abueva 13, Ahanmisi 12, Dela Rosa 10, Barroca 4, Wong 4, Zaldivar 4, Reavis 0, Corpuz 0.

Quarters: 11-16, 35-47, 58-65, 82-82 (reg.), 89-82 (OT).

– Rappler.com

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.