Converge just demonstrated its mettle as a unit by demonstrating that it can triumph even without import Quincy Miller.
Following Miller’s dismissal, the FiberXers kept playing hard and defeated NLEX 108-84 to extend their winning streak in the PBA Governors Cup on Saturday at the Ynares Center.
Miller was benched for the entirety of the second half by the streaking team after being called for a flagrant foul penalty two late in the first half for extending his foot on Brandon Ganuelas-landing Rosser’s area.
But the FiberXers survived and flourished on the best the Road Warriors had to offer, not crumbling in their absence of their top scorer, rebounder, and post defender.
Coach Aldin Ayo gave Jeron Teng and Kevin Racal credit for holding down the fort for Converge while Miller was away as the two alternated in attempting to restrict NLEX import Earl Clark.
“They took that responsibility to really stop him (Clark),” Ayo spoke of the two athletes who wore his uniform during their college careers.
“Of course, the rest of the players stuck with our game plan, especially on defense. Of course, you have to give credit to the players because they’re making the coaching staff look good out there. They’re executing, they’re playing well, they’re just loose.” The Converge mentor added.
Miller ended with 15 points and nine rebounds, but his loss didn’t prevent Converge from winning its fifth straight game to improve to 6-2 and tie the Bay Area Dragons for the league lead.
Miller should understand how crucial he is to the FiberXers’ effort, according to Ayo, who claimed they couldn’t afford to lose him.
“He has to learn from that. The thing about him is he listens also,” stated the former NBA player’s coach.
“But that guy wants to win.”
Converge takes against NLEX in the 2022-23 PBA Commissioner’s Cup on Saturday at the Ynares Center in Antipolo City in an effort to bolster its push for a twice-to-beat advantage in the quarterfinals.
At 4:30 p.m., the FiberXers, who have won five of their last seven conference games, play the Road Warriors. The opening match of a doubleheader.
The twice-to-beat advantage, which goes to the top two teams at the end of the elimination phase, is the goal for Converge, according to coach Aldin Ayo.