May 24, 2024

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Converge FiberXers shock Meralco Bolts, in a 104-99 victory

4 min read
STUNNING WIN. Converge FiberXers pull off a stunning 104-99 victory over the Meralco Bolts in the PBA Philippine Cup held at the PhilSports Arena on April 21. PBA PHOTO

The Converge FiberXers stunned the Meralco Bolts with a 104-99 victory at the PhilSports Arena on April 21, ending their opponent’s playoff aspirations while securing a memorable win in the PBA Philippine Cup.

Bryan Santos emerged as the hero for Converge, delivering a career-best performance with 22 points, including a remarkable 16-point outburst in the pivotal third quarter. Santos’s explosive scoring spree ignited Converge’s comeback from an 11-point deficit, ultimately propelling them to victory.

The former UST standout showcased his shooting prowess by sinking six crucial three-pointers, with his sixth triple giving the FiberXers a crucial 96-93 lead. Santos then sealed the deal with another clutch basket that broke the game’s final deadlock at 97-all, securing the win for Coach Aldin Ayo’s squad.

Despite Meralco’s efforts to rally behind Chris Newsome’s late-game heroics, including a key jumper to narrow the deficit to one, the Bolts faltered in the game’s closing moments. Converge’s Schonny Winston and JL delos Santos capitalized on free throws and a timely jumper to cement the FiberXers’ long-awaited victory.

Coach Aldin Ayo expressed his excitement and relief after Converge snapped their losing streak, emphasizing the significance of this win for the team’s morale and future prospects. While acknowledging that the victory comes too late to salvage their playoff hopes, Ayo praised his players’ resilience and commitment.

Reflecting on their recent loss to San Miguel Beer, Ayo highlighted how the experience served as a valuable learning opportunity for his team, enabling them to refine their game plan against Meralco on short notice. Despite minimal preparation time, Ayo’s team executed their strategy with precision and determination.

Bryan Santos credited his breakout performance to the support of his teammates and Coach Ayo’s strategic guidance. After a scoreless first half, Santos exploded in the third quarter, capitalizing on the opportunities created by his teammates and Ayo’s offensive schemes.

Alongside Santos’s heroics, Alec Stockton contributed 20 points before fouling out, while Justin Arana added 18 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists for Converge.

For Meralco, the loss dealt a significant blow to their playoff aspirations, dropping them to a 3-5 record and complicating their path to the quarterfinals. Despite standout performances from Chris Newsome (25 points, five assists) and Chris Banchero (20 points), Meralco struggled to contain Converge’s late-game surge.

As the playoff race intensifies in the PBA Philippine Cup, Converge FiberXers’ victory stands as a testament to their resilience and determination. While their postseason dreams may have been dashed, Converge’s triumph over Meralco reaffirms their potential and sets the stage for a promising future in Philippine basketball.

The boxscores:

Converge 104 – Santos 22, Stockton 20, Arana 18, Winston 14, Delos Santos 10, Caralipio 9, Maagdenberg 4, Melecio 4, Nieto 2, Fleming 1, Fornilos 0.

Meralco 99 – Newsome 25, Banchero 20, Black 19, Hodge 10, Quinto 9, Caram 6, Bates 5, Pasaol 5, Rios 0, Pascual 0, Maliski 0, Torres 0.

Quarterscores: 23-25, 42-53, 77-77, 104-99

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