Converge first win in PBA history; RK Ilagan saved the day.

Jun 11, 2022

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Converge picked up its first win in the PBA history after a feisty 89-92 victory over Magnolia. Ilagan forged an extra period with a clutch triple late in regulation and overtime with another booming trey to help FiberXers complete their comeback from 20 points down for the breakthrough win. Taking over the Alaska franchise at the end of the season, Converge fell short of a triumphant PBA debut when it absorbed a77-79 loss to Rain or Shine last June 5. However, Ilagan – who finished with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals – declined to let his side ache another heartbreak. The sophomore guard secured the score at 82-82 with a booming three-pointer with 3.6 ticks left in the fourth quarter and drained another long bomb as the FiberXers blanked Hotshots extra period.  Maverick Ahanmisi then made it a five-point game off a floater, 87-82, and Justin Arana put the game out of reach by powering past Calvin Abueva down low. Jeron Teng top recorded for Converge with 19 points to go with 7 rebounds, while Ahanmisi came off the bench and produced 14 points, including a triple that leveled the game at 78-78 with under four minutes left in the fourth. Nevertheless, Magnolia led by as many as 14 points in the fourth quarter, 74-60, prior Converge tied things up behind an 18-4 run affixed on 11 points from Ahanmisi, who also netted 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals. Arana posted 9 points, 12 rebounds, and 4 assists as he stays to impress in his rookie season and co-big man Ben Adamos tallied 10 points and five rebounds in the win. Ian Sangalang dominated inside with 22 points, nine rebounds, and 3 blocks for the Hotshots, but he failed to finish the game after fouling out with under three minutes remaining overtime. With him exiting, Magnolia played without three of its usual starters down the stretch as Paul Lee sat out due to back spasms and Mark Barroca was shelved since the start of the second quarter due to an injury. Abueva had 13 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 steals against a whopping 8 turnovers in the losing effort, while Jio Jalalon chalked up 13 points, 9 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Converge coach Jeff Cariaso dedicated the first win of the franchise to team owner Dennie Anthony Uy while congratulating the resiliency of his players. “We just never gave up. Like I said, guys have to step up. They may start, they may not start. They may play, they may not play a lot. We are a young team. They are learning to play together” said Cariaso. “We are trying to get wins while doing that. But I love the resiliency, the effort, and the no-give-up. Doon ako proud”. Coach Jeff added. The Hotshots did not score a single point in overtime.
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