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Converge tries to keep up with leaders

PROLIFIC Converge import Jamaal Franklin, seen here guarded by Chris Ross of San Miguel Beer, has led the FiberXers to a 5-1 start in the PBA Governors’ Cup. PBA IMAGE

A WELL-RESTED Converge team tries to keep up with co-leaders TNT and San Miguel Beer when the FiberXers plunge back to action and face the NLEX Road Warriors in the 2022-23 PBA Governors’ Cup today, February 18, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City.

Before taking a weeklong respite, the FiberXers took down the powerful San Miguel Beermen 107-103 handing the reigning Philippine Cup champions their first defeat after opening the conference with five straight victories.

TNT and SMB currently share the lead with similar 6-1 cards.

Converge coach Aldin Ayo has reminded his boys not to get the morale-boosting win against the Beermen on their heads, knowing they are far from where they want to be as a team.

“It’s a big morale booster for us, but we have to handle this win very well and learn from this because even though we won, there are a lot of things we have to work on. We’re still a work in progress,” explained Ayo, whose team currently is at solo second spot with a 5-1 record.

Game time is at 6:45 p.m.

American import Jamaal Franklin has been one of the biggest reasons for the FiberXers’ excellent start and he’s got near triple-double averages to back that up.

The former Memphis Grizzlies wingman averaged 35.4 points, 12 rebounds and 8.8 assists in his five-game stint with the team thus far.

But the 31-year-old reinforcement noted that his all-around game won’t be enough, stressing the importance of getting the local support, particularly from young big man Justin Araña, guard Alec Stockton, Abu Tratter, and veteran guard Maverick Ahanmisi, who’s been providing a huge spark for the team with solid averages of 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds, while making over 30 percent of shots from beyond the arc.

Converge will be taking on an NLEX side that has lost its last two games under new import Wayne Selden. The Road Warriors kicked off the conference like a house on fire, winning their first four games under original reinforcement Jonathon Simmons.

The former San Antonio Spurs forward, though, had to leave to accept the offer from a Chinese Basketball Association squad.

Selden’s numbers have been impressive, totaling 34 points, 8.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds during his first two games that unfortunately ended in losses against playoff-contending squads Barangay Ginebra and Magnolia.

Meanwhile, struggling squads Terrafirma (2-4) and Phoenix Super LPG (1-5) collide at 4:30 p.m.

The Dyip suffered a narrow 118-120 loss to the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters, who played without import Greg Smith 2nd on Thursday after failing to secure his FIBA clearance from his previous team in Dominican Republic.

The Fuel Masters only have one win to show, courtesy of their 108-95 triumph over winless NorthPort Batang Pier. They have lost their last two games.

Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net

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