Maverick Ahanmisi took charge in the final frame as Converge arrested its two-game slide with a 97-84 victory over the still-winless Terrafirma on Wednesday, June 22, in the PBA Philippine Cup at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Ahanmisi unloaded 14 of his 17 points on the FiberXers’ huge 34-point fourth quarter explosion to turn back a pesky Dyip side and list their second win in five outings.
The 6-foot-2 playmaker also orchestrated the attack with eight assists along with seven boards while Mike Digregorio and David Murrell provided support with 19 and 15 markers, respectively, for Converge which missed the services of its main man Jeron Teng due to an injury.
Rookie big man Justin Arana also showed up for the FiberXers with a double-double of 10 points and 15 rebounds while also holding his own against the Dyip bruising frontline of Eric Camson, Aldrech Ramos and Joseph Gabayni.
“With a game like this we come in with an understanding that they are a lot better than their record. So Terrafirma is a tough team, they have a couple of injuries but we know how good they can be even with the guys remaining,” said Converge head coach Jeffrey Cariaso who also lauded the team’s effort on the defensive end and in the rebounding department.
“We wanted to focus on the defensive end and one of the parts there is rebounding. We wanted to win that category. We feel like if we win that category that gives us a chance so that’s where we focus on tonight,” he added as his wards collared a total of 51 boards against the Dyip’s 46.
Gabayni paced the Dyip with 18 points and seven rebounds while Ramos added 15 markers which all went down the drain as they remained winless through four games.
The injury bug also continued to bite on Terrafirma as Bonbon Batiller went down with a knee injury early in the second quarter, joining Ed Daquioag and Isaac Go in the team’s injury list.
Despite the shorthanded lineup, the Dyip still managed to remain competitive throughout the game and even took a seven-point, 54-47 cushion early in the third frame.
The John Cardel-mentored team pounced the ball inside the paint with wide-bodied Gabayni and Ramos feasting over the much-younger Converge frontline.
Ahanmisi however took over in the final frame as he unloaded four booming triples – the last one that gave Converge an 86-81 lead just a little over two minutes left in the game. It was all Converge from that point as Digregorio put on the finishing touches, anchoring his team’s 9-0 close out to put the game to rest.
Converge 97 – Digregorio 19, Ahanmisi 17, Murell 15, Arana 10, Browne 10, Hill 9, Ambohot 8, Adamos 4, Ilagan 3, Stockton 1, Bulanadi 1, Tolomia 0, Lojera 0
Terrafirma 84 – Gabayni 18, Ramos 15, Tiongson 13, Camson 13, Munzon 10, Balagasay 6, Calvo 4, Mina 3, Gomez De Liano 2, Batiller 0, Cahilig 0
Quarters: 17-21, 43-42, 63-62, 97-84
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