In his Converge debut in the Philippines, former NBA star Quincy Miller claims that new coach Aldin Ayo warned him to expect the aggressive style of Filipino basketball.
After the Converge FiberXers crushed the Terrafirma Dyip, 124-110, on Friday, September 23, at the PhilSports Arena in Pasig, Aldin Ayo’s PBA coaching career got off to a good start.
After losing a 22-6 run, the FiberXers surged ahead, turning a 67-all tie into an 89-73 lead with 1:33 left in the third quarter thanks to two free throws from former NBA player Quincy Miller.
Converge maintained their lead over their opponents in the last quarter, at times by as much as 18.
Miller had a strong performance in his first professional game in the Philippines, scoring 38 points, grabbing 16 rebounds, and dishing out 5 assists. Maverick Ahanmisi, another teammate, added 18 points and 7 assists.
“This game, we started flat, especially in the first quarter. We were getting our shots, but we just were not making those shots,” said Ayo during the post-game press conference.
“But I told them that those were good shots, so they just had to keep on shooting.”
There were 13 lead changes and 7 ties during the closely contested first half. JP Calvo blasted a shot from the top of the key on the opposing side as time ran down to give the Dyip the victory, 30-26.
Both teams scored heavily in the second quarter, with Converge outscoring Terrafirma 36-32 to square the score at 62 all at the break
Miller, who has previously played in the NBA for Denver, Sacramento, and Detroit, claimed that Ayo had made him ready for the rough style of Filipino basketball.
“It was very physical. I already knew it was going to be physical, but EuroLeague is physical as well, so I just kind of mentally prepared myself and came into the second half a little more aggressive,” said Miller.
“And coach ran a lot of plays for me in the second half to get all those buckets,” he added.
Lester Prosper, a returning import from Terrafirma, led the pace in the half with 26 points and 11 rebounds before finishing with a game-high 43 points and 25 rebounds.
In a losing effort, Alex Cabagnot scored 13 points in his first game since suffering an Achilles tendon injury in December 2021.
Converge 124 – Miller 38, Ahanmisi 18, Arana 13, Ilagan 12, Stocton 11, Teng 11, Melecio 10, Bulanadi 4, Racal 3, Tratter 2, Digregorio 2.
Terrafirma 110 – Prosper 43, Munzon 14, Tiongson 13, Cabagnot 12, Cahilig 7, Gomez de Liano 7, Calvo 5, Camson 4, Alolino 2, Ramos 2.
Quarter: 26-30, 62-62, 93-79, 124-110.